Shrinking Reconstructed Nipple?

I had a nipple reconstruction a couple of months ago. The method was similar to the star flap or CV flap. I loved the look of the new nipple when it was done and I was informed that it would shrink, but it is now so small I am becoming disappointed with it. Is it possible to have this operation done again, or is there a way to increase the size?? My other nipple is very large (my own). I have an appointment to see my PS in February.

Doctor Answers 2

Nipple reconstruction

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I am glad to hear that you are nearly completed with your breast reconstruction, but sorry to hear of your concerns.  It is common to have some shrinkage of the newly reconstructed nipple - typically between 30-50% of the immediate postoperative size.  I would continue to wait a few more months to determine your final result prior to any consideration of revision.  

In your instance, redoing the nipple reconstruction is certainly an option, but placement of a dermal graft or even an acellular dermal matrix (e.g., AlloMax, AlloDerm, etc.) should be entertained in order to add some additional size, projection, and longevity to the reconstructed nipple.  If you did have a very large nipple on the opposite breast and were agreeable to having that reduced, nipple sharing from that nipple to create a reconstructed nipple where it was absent is certainly an option as well.  Hope that this helps!  Good luck!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Shrinking Reconstructed Nipple

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I am sorry you've had to go through this, The reconstructed nipple does shrink a lot. It will shrink more for several months - so

  • it make sense to wait to February,
  • Additional operations are usually needed for nipple reconstruction.
  • Cartilage implants, redoing the surgery, implanting nipple from the other side are just some of a range of options.
  • Ask your surgeon what in his or her experience works best for situations like yours. Best wishes!

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.