Necrotic Nipple (Size of Baseball) Due to Radiation. What Can Done Besides Surgery? No infection. Just dead tissue

After Double masectomy,(nipple sparing, used alloderm, immediate implants) have nacrotic right nipple and below. (size of baseball) for 16 weeks due to radiation 5 yrs ago. 37th Hyperbaric Chamber appt. tomorrow. What else can be tried? Please help, only thing being offered is surgery to remove implant and nacrotic tissue, wait 6 months, insert expander, wait 6 mos, then try again with no guarantee it won't happen again. No infection. Just dead tissue. Any Ideas?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast Reconstruction

Skin necrosis (dead skin) after radiation and surgery, will need immediate surgery, where all necrotic tissue and severly injured radiated tissue including bone (if infected) need to be removed and immediate chest wall reconstruction with a good vascular flap. The Latismus Dorsi myocutaneous flap fits this description. The implants you still have , will need to be removed if there is any hint of contamination or infection.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Radiation in reconstruction

In the setting of radiation, an expander/implant reconstruction will have a significantly higher complication rate.  In your case, you can still have a successful reconstruction with a tissue flap.  Either latissimus, TRAM, or DIEP are good options. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Nipple necrosis after nipple sparing mastectomy and radiation

If indeed your nipple is black and necrotic, then you will need it debrided and removed.   If there are no signs of infection, your surgeon may be able to salvage your implant reconstruction but may need to downsize your implant.  This may lead to a significant asymmetry.   Your PS plan's to remove the implant and come back and fight another day also sounds reasonable.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Necrotic nipple after radiation

Hard to say what is best for you without an exam inperson, but if the tissue is necrotic it sounds like it needs to be debrided( cut away).  It is best to see your surgeon. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 27 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.