American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
3 months ago

How safe

20 years ago I had a breast lift after having kids and a little gain weight my breasts gotten bigger, I went for a consultation to get a breast reduction I'm a little concerned due to what the doctor said to me because he doesn't know how my last surgery was done there is a possibility I could lose my nipples and I'm really nervous about proceeding with surgery he said he won't know until he cuts

Procedure: Breast Reduction
Location: Columbia, PA

Replies 4

Carlos Quintero
ASPS Int. Surgeon

Reoperations are always difficult because of many factors, such as abnormal blood supply of the tissues involved in the previous procedure. In cases like breast reduction or lift, the blood supply of the nipple an areola is one of the crucial aspects to consider.

There are many different ways or techniques to perform a breast lift/reduction, ways that involve where the blood supply will come from to nourish those structures.

If the original procedure used a blood supply coming from the upper part of the breast ( upper pedicle) for example, then, a new procedure, using a different location of the blood supply will put in jeopardy the nipple and areola because it might not be enough blood supply for survival of those.

Knowing the kind of technique used before is the ideal thing in order to use that information to perform the reoperation in the safest way.

Rahul Vemula
ASPS Surgeon
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Yes, your surgeon is correct. Any time there is a prior incision around the nipple for prior press surgery, such as a lift or a reduction, a revision surgery always risks that the nipple and Areola can lose blood supply. This can cause you to lose the nipple. Unfortunately, we don’t have any way to predict who this will happen in. Higher risk, for this are multiple prior breast operations, higher BMI greater than 30, smoking or any nicotine exposure, and uncontrolled diabetes.

It seems your surgeon is giving you proper informed consent. Should you decide to go through with the surgery Best wishes for a safe recovery .

Alfred Antonetti
ASPS Surgeon

Loss of skin or nipple is always a possible complication from breast reduction surgery. The fact that you had a mastopexy earlier, which is very similar to a breast reduction, increases the chances of you having this complication. The surgeon will take every precaution to prevent this and the chances are low that you will have this problem but the fact is that it is possible. Very small possibility but if it happens to you it is 100% for you. There was a possibility of this happening to you when you had the mastopexy and it probably was in the consent that you signed. The surgeon was absolutely correct in informing you of this and only a foolish surgeon would omit this information. You have to be aware of the possible complications and if you are not willing to accept then then you should not have any surgery.

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Norman Bakshandeh
ASPS Surgeon

Your surgeon gave you the correct information. Unfortunately you have a higher risk of nipple and areola loss with previous surgery. This also applies to smokers, previous smokers and those with higher BMI


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