Will a nipple that has turned black heal correctly?

I am 1 week post op and had quit smoking 2 weeks prior to surgery. After surgery I smoked. My nipple has turned black but is still soft on the left side of my left nipple. I have quit smoking but extremely worried. What are the chances of it turning to normal color and healing correctly?

Doctor Answers 9

Smoking and healing

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Thank you for your question. Please stop smoking now and see your PS for evaluation . Now the aim is to minimize the damage and make the wound heal and figure it out what to do later.

Smoking is bad!

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Thanks for the question and I'm sorry you're going through this. The best thing you can do right now is not smoke any more. Usually when there is some vascular compromise to nipple and areola, it will improve with time. Sometimes it doesn't. I would go back and see your surgeon so they know about what is going on. Best of luck!

David A. Sieber, MD
San Francisco General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Will a nipple that has turned black heal correctly?

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Thank you for sharing your question and I am sorry to hear of your nipple issues.  Black coloration is most commonly associated with tissue necrosis or death that has little chance of recovery.  I would strongly recommend making an appointment to see your surgeon for an in-person evaluation and discussion of results. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Black nipple after surgery

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A black nipple after breast augmentation is an emergency you should see your surgeon for immediately. Only in person can anyone diagnose and recommend treatment. Best wishes. 

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Will a nipple that has turned black heal correctly?

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Thank you for your question.  If tissue turns black, that's a sign of necrosis or tissue death.  Continue not to smoke and go see your surgeon right away to receive proper care.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


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This is a situation that is best managed by your surgeon.  It is difficult to tell if, when, and how the nipple will heal.  Be sure to continue to abstain from any nicotine.  Your surgeon can follow your progress and advise appropriate treatments along the way.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


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Sorry to hear about your problem, smoking decreases blood flow and can result in complications. It is best to assess your situation by being seen in person and I would contact your PS immediately and stop smoking immediately.

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Black nipple

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Your doctor will be the best one to advise you about your nipple sine he/she has seen it. However, please avoid any further smoking.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Smoking decreases blood flow

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Thank you for your question and I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I would be sure to follow up with your surgeon closely to help manage this issue. It is very important to not smoke. It may not heal properly, but it is difficult to assess without an in person evaluation. Best of luck, Dr. Kludt

Nathan Kludt, MD
Stockton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 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.