Marga F. Massey, MD, CLT, FACS is board certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with a commitment to women who are beginning their journey in the world of breast cancer.Learn More
Nipple reconstruction is completed as an outpatient procedure without the need for general anesthesia. Nipple reconstruction is typically scheduled 2-3 months after your implant placement or flap procedure. Nipples are reconstructed using local flaps of tissue from your reconstruction site (fishtail flap" or "bow-and-arrow flap"). Historic procedures using tissues from the groin are not routinely utilized unless requested. Some patients elect for simultaneous labial reductions and tissue transfer for nipple reconstructions on a limited basis upon request. We additionally offer "nipple sharing" from the contra-lateral breast.
Specialized nipple protectors ("Xena Warrior Princess Nipple Guards") will be provided for your use in the post-operative period when you are wearing a bra. Please do not remove the adhesive paper to expose the underlying adhesive. Tape and "sticky" things are bad for the skin. Your bra will hold the nipple protector in place. And, you do not need a nipple protector if you are not wearing a bra. Nipple reconstructions shrink with time. Diligent use of nipple protectors while sporting a bra will provide you with the most projection possible. Please let Dr. Marga know if you are interested in very large nipple reconstructions as she may choose to bank a portion of your costochondral cartilage within your flap during Stage 1 – this cartilage can be retrieved and utilized in your nipple reconstruction at the second stage.
Clear sutures on the outside of your skin will fall out on their own at about 3 weeks post-operatively. Some reconstructive methods employ the placement of a "yellow bolster" which is sewn to the skin. "Yellow bolsters" are commonly removed on post-operative day #7. You should refrain from submerging such a bolstered wound in the shower/bathtub/whirlpool/river/lake/ocean for 14 additional days after the bolster is removed.
Dr. Marga will instruct you when it is safe to resume your breast implant massage protocol. Please call Dr. Marga directly on her cell phone if she forgot to discuss this with you.