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How likely is nipple death after breast surgery?

Dangers of breast enlargement

Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic surgery performed. How likely is it to affect the nipples?
“When it comes to breast augmentation, the occurrence of circulatory disorders in the nipple is an absolute rarity. Even if the incision is in the areola, circulatory disorders or even death of the nipple are almost never seen. Nevertheless, one must not deny that, on the other hand, a sensory disorder of the nipple during this procedure is not uncommon, at least for the first postoperative months, ”summarizes Dr. Müller together. The situation is different with breast lifts or breast reductions.

Standard Downsizing and Tightening Procedures

“Here, the position of the nipple is changed upwards. To do this, the nipple (nipple) is cut around in such a way that only the topmost cell layer of the skin is incised but not the skin completely. The skin bridge that lies between the nipple and its new position is also freed from its top layer of skin. Then you can bring the nipple into its new position by folding the dermis underneath. With this technique it is possible to avoid the complete cutting out of the nipple and the application of the nipple as a skin graft. ”Because for this, the nerve connection of the nipple would have to be completely cut off and the displaced nipples would then no longer feel. Nevertheless, there are also limits to the standard technique described, the stalked nipple offset by folding the skin. “If the distance between the old and the new seat of the nipple is too long, the folds of the skin can squeeze the venous blood flow and the nipple can die. This happens very rarely with a breast lift, as no breast tissue is touched deep in the breast, so the blood flow to the nipple does not suffer much. In the case of a breast reduction, however, this can look different, ”says the expert.

Calculable risk

An experienced breast surgeon has various techniques available that he can adapt to the anatomical conditions in order to avoid such complications. With this know-how, the risk of dying nipples, even with very large, sagging breasts, can be viewed as easily calculable and rather low. Every operation involves risks. It is important that the patients are informed comprehensively and comprehensively about this possibility of complications in any case.