What is happening to my nipple and underside? (photo)

My breast reduction was completed exactly one week ago. After completion, the doctor explained that I may have vascularity issues while healing. Today, my breast looks like this.

Doctor Answers 8

What is happening to my nipple and underside?

You are having wound edge necrosis. Local care can be done to help improve healing time. Best to discuss with your surgeon... 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

What is happening to my nipple and underside?

Thank you for your photo.  You have a small area of tissue necrosis.  It is very likely that this will heal just fine with some local wound care.   Be sure to contact your surgeon, he or she will be able to recommend the appropriate care and follow up.

David Steckler, MD, FACS
Jackson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast Reduction

Hi Blue,
That is exactly what you have, vascularity issues.  This is a small area.  Usually these heal in nicely.  BTW, the ridges you have will all smooth out just fine.  So go right back to your doctor, but no cause for alarm.  If you smoke, or are around smokers you would be at great risk to make this worse.  If you are diabetic, keep your sugars under tight control  All the best, "Dr. Joe"

Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 269 reviews

What is happening to my nipple and underside?

Your surgeon was correct in that the nipple and areola have suffered from poor circulation as has the inferior portion of the scar where all three corners meet. This often the most susceptible part. I feel you may go on to lose some superficial skin of these areas but should go on to heal. Any revision work can be done months down the road. Make sure you follow up with your surgeion. Good luck.

Jose Perez-Gurri, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

Poor Circulation After Breast Reduction

Very rarely, breast reduction procedures can significantly reduce blood flow to the nipple.  In your case, there is a very small area (<5% surface area of the nipple) that may create a small scab but will probably heal just fine.  The important thing to focus on is that the rest of the nipple looks very well perfused.  Make sure this is being followed closely by your surgeon.

Salvatore Pacella, MD, MBA, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Poor Circulation after Breast Reduction

Hi, I am sorry to hear that you are having problems after your surgery.  You are showing evidence of poor circulation to a small part of the nipple and the skin along the horizontal fold.  This is not all that uncommon and will heal resulting in no additional scarring.  Bring this to the attention of your doctor right away so he/she can   recommended appropriate wound care.  Be patient, this will ultimately be OK.  Good Luck.  Doctor Bev

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Npples 1 week post-op

Your nipple appears to have some blood under it, making it look purplish.  However it appears to be alive and healing OK.  Be patient and wait it out. If your nipple is in trouble, your doctor will know this and tell you.  Hopefully you are not taking any  blood thinners such as  aspirin, Excedrin or NSAIDS

Paul Silverstein, MD (retired)
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Wound healing after reduction

Based on your photo, it looks like you are losing a small amount of skin from the bottom of your areola due to decreased blood supply.  Overall, the blood supply looks fine, and this should heal uneventfully with local care.  An antibiotic ointment and gauze covering will help with healing, but you should check in with your Plastic Surgeon to see if they have any other recommendations or if you have concerns.

Andrew Wolfe, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 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.