Nipple sparing mastectomy. (photo)

One nipple is very high. May lose other nipple due to infection. I would like to know if the can be removed or lowered.

Doctor Answers 6

Breast reconstruction after removal of an infected implant

The most important issue now is appropriate wound healing.  Once the wound has healed then your option for reconstruction on the right can be evaluated.  I am always concerned about placing an implant in a previously infected pocket.  This can be an alternative.  Also you can use you own tissue.

Uneven nipples after mastectomy

You have so much healing and evolution of the right side to see what can be salvaged and how that will look. Working with your doctors on maximizing your health and the appearance of the side that is missing the implant is what is most important right now. Balancing or altering the opposite healthy side is an easier fix for later. But to answer your specific question, yes it is possible to raise or remove a nipple/areola complex after nipple sparing mastectomy if it is needed because of health reasons or appearance reasons.

Heather Richardson, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Losing an implant in reconstruction

is always difficult but you should not lose your nipple based on your photo.  At this point, you should focus on healing and salvaging the left side.  Once healed and out of the woods, then critically analyze your results with your surgeon who should be able to provide you a list of options from which you can choose.  There is still a happy ending but it may take some time and a lot of patience to get there.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


Having an implant removed and the degree of asymmetry you have can be quite alarming to patients and be quite stressful.  I'm guessing you are saying the left nipple is too high and you might lose the right? It  looks like you had the right implant removed for some reason. I'm guessing it was the infection that you mentioned. 
At this time , it would be wise  to wait for a few months to allow the tissues to heal and soften and then be  re-evaluated to discuss the next steps as to how to  rebuild the right side. At that time you can  discuss options to allow for improved symmetry between the left and right breast. Don't worry! There will be options for you once your tissues heal. Stay in contact with your plastic surgeon who will guide you through the necessary steps . Good luck!

Cheri Ong, MD, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nipple sparing mastectomy.

Thank you for your picture and questions. Without some information on when your surgery was and exactly what was done and what complications have occurred, it is hard to give you specific advice. For example, are you saying that your LEFT nipple is too high and you might lose your RIGHT one due to infection, or vice-versa? In addition, did you previously have a right implant or expander in place that is now removed due to a complication or infection? Some more specific information would be helpful as often times these types of reconstructions can be quite complicated.

Generally speaking, yes, the nipples can be removed and replaced with a scar. However, I would not proceed with that until you have given enough time for things to settle and complete your post-op course. In addition, changing implants can sometimes change the appearance of the nipple position so this may be an option. It can be very hard to lower a nipple once it is too high.

My best advice would be to follow closely with your plastic surgeon and discuss your concerns honestly. Wait until the reconstruction is completed and enough time has been given for healing to occur (sometimes 6 months or more) before considering any further revisions. Like I said, these types of cases can often be very complicated and patience is warranted. 

Hope this of luck!

Dallas Buchanan, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Nipple sparing mastectomy

I am not sure what the question is but since I do a fare amount of this I will try my best to assess your situation and guide. you. It appears that you lost the implant on the right for whatever reason. I am going to assume you are not radiated so this applies to non-radiated breast surgery. Since you lost the implant what I would tell my patient is in a minimum of 3 months made but usually 6 months I will go back and place a tissue expander in the right breast and stretch the skin over time then go back and place the real implant. Any revision work that may need to be done to the left can be done as well. 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.