Are there complications such as dying nipples/necrosis with a free nipple graft? (Photo)

I had a chest Lipo and now need skin reductions. Two surgeons I met said I'd benefit from a male chest reduction and repositioning of the nipples via a free nipple graft. I was told I will have two long visible scars beneath my nipples which I'm happy with. But Im worried that my nipples will die as a result of necrosis. What are your opinions and experiences in relation to the likelihood of my nipples dying and blackening and what would be a soloution to this problem if it did occur?

Doctor Answers 2

Risks and Necrosis Associated with Gynecomastia Surgery

Following #Gynecomastia #surgery, bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely.

Your incisions will go through a maturation #process. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.
Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.\

As with all cosmetic surgery, results will be rewarding if expectations are realistic. With any surgical procedure, there are some risks which your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation. Reduced sensation of the nipple is possible, as it is with any breast surgery, and can lead to reduced nipple sensation. Reduced sensation is usually temporary following surgery and may require a few months resolve. However,  in some cases, the loss of sensation can be permanent


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Risk of nipple loss with free nipple grafts

When there is extensive breast soft tissue excess there may be a need for nipple repositioning. Often this procedure can be completed without removing the nipple entirely and replacing it as a graft. If there are no other options except for a free nipple graft then the risks of sensory loss, scar, pigment changes, and soft tissue necrosis are significant. I suggest you have multiple consultations to determine the extent of your concern and the possible therapeutic options.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 9 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.