How Can I Lessen My Chances of Nipple Healing Problems After Breast Lift Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have previously had breast implants placed below the muscle and donut lift around the nipple. While I thought that would be the best way to get my breasts uplifted and have a batter shape and avoid skin scars, it did not turn out like I thought it would. My breasts are too big and the nipples point slightly downward. I have read that the nipple can die in these more aggressive or full breast lift surgeries. Obviously I don’t want that to happen. What can I do or how should the surgery be done that would afford me the least chance of blood supply problems and loss of the nipple?

A:  When it comes to getting the sagging breast really uplifted, I have rarely found the donut breast lift very satisfactory. So I am not surprised that you have had a similar experience. The one important thing that you can do with any type of breast lift or reduction surgery is to not smoke before or after surgery. If you are not a smoker, great. If you do smoke, you should quite one month before and continue cease smoking for one month after surgery. Fortunately, your breast implants are below the muscle so the blood supply to the nipple has not been previously disrupted. This makes the potential problem with nipple healing after more extensive breast lift surgery unlikely.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana