Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bruised Nipple After Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery is a popular procedure among women who are experiencing physical discomfort or difficulty finding clothing that fits well due to the size of their breasts. While the surgery can greatly improve quality of life for many patients, it is important to be aware of potential complications that may arise post-operatively. One common issue that patients may experience after breast reduction surgery is bruising and swelling, particularly in the area around the nipples.

Bruising and swelling are common side effects of any type of surgery, including breast reduction. In the case of breast reduction surgery, the tissue around the breasts and nipples is manipulated and can become bruised as a result. This bruising can lead to pain, discomfort, and nipple discoloration, which can be concerning for patients.

It is important for patients to know how to recognize and treat bruised nipples after breast reduction surgery. Here are some tips to help manage bruising and swelling in the nipple area following the procedure:

Recognizing Bruising and Swelling: Bruising may appear as a purple or blue discoloration around the nipples, and can be accompanied by swelling and tenderness. It is important to monitor the bruising to ensure that it is not worsening or becoming infected.

Managing Pain: Pain and discomfort are common after breast reduction surgery, particularly in the first week following the procedure. Patients can use over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help manage pain and swelling. It is important to follow the recommended dosage instructions and consult with your surgeon if you have concerns about pain management.

Applying Ice Packs: Cold therapy can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain in the nipples after breast reduction surgery. Patients can apply ice packs wrapped in a cloth to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to help decrease swelling and bruising.

Avoiding Tight Clothing: It is important to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing while recovering from breast reduction surgery to avoid putting pressure on the nipples and exacerbating bruising and swelling. Sports bras or other supportive garments recommended by your surgeon can help provide the necessary support without causing additional discomfort.

Monitoring Nipple Discoloration: Nipple discoloration is common after breast reduction surgery and may resolve on its own as the bruising heals. However, if discoloration persists or worsens, or if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge, it is important to contact your surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.

In conclusion, bruising and swelling in the nipples are common side effects of breast reduction surgery and can cause pain and discomfort for patients. By recognizing the signs of bruising and swelling, managing pain effectively, applying ice packs, avoiding tight clothing, and monitoring nipple discoloration, patients can help alleviate these symptoms and promote a smooth recovery following breast reduction surgery. Remember to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions and seek medical attention if you have any concerns about your recovery.

You can also read about signs of hematoma after breast reduction and severe bruising after breast reduction.

Bruised Nipple After Breast Reduction

Bruising after breast surgery

Following breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast lift surgery you should expect to experience some bruising.

What’s normal bruising after breast surgery?

Most women experience low or moderate bruising on their breasts and adjacent (upper chest or under the armpits/axilla area).  Sometimes women develop bruising  from their clavicle all the way down to their abdomen and belly button.

How do I reduce the risk of bruising?

It is not possible to completely remove the risk of bruising; if you have surgery, you will bruise. Most bruising lasts 14 days but deeper bruising can take longer.

Some people are more prone to bruising than others. This can be due to underlying health issues that impact clotting – or just the individual body’s natural tendencies. Pictured, right: post breast surgery bruising in some of Dr Sharp’s patients in the week following surgery. 

post op bruising 2
post op bruising 1
post op bruising 3

It’s important to disclose any diseases or medication to your surgeon for this reason. It doesn’t mean that you will be precluded from having cosmetic surgery, but it will help your surgeon and anaesthetist make accommodations for this before, during and after surgery.

Prior to surgery you can reduce your risk of excessive bleeding by ceasing blood thinning medications such as aspirin.

Following large procedures, we provide arnica tablets in your post op bag, to assist with your initial swelling and bruising.

We also recommend taking Bioceuticals Quercetain tablets and Opti3 vegan Omega 3 to assist with swelling and bruising. Both are available at the clinic and can be purchased prior to surgery or at your post op appointment (postage is also available).

When should I be worried about bruising after surgery?

– If your bruise is hardening

– If your bruise is increasing in size

– If you develop a ‘new’ bruise 2 or more weeks following surgery

– Bruises can be uncomfortable but if they suddenly become very painful or swollen, call the clinic

The most common complication associated with bruising is called a ‘haematoma’; localised collection of blood outside blood vessels, which isn’t absorbed by the body and sometimes requires draining or a ‘wash out’. In the case of plastic surgery, this is rare and not usually a medical emergency, but necessitates review by Dr Sharp in a prompt manner so a course of action can be planned to resolve this.

Your nipples and breast reduction

Your nipples and breast reduction

What happens to your nipples during and after breast reduction?

Quite understandably women have lots of questions about what happens to their nipples during and after breast reduction.

The common questions and misunderstandings are listed below:

Are my nipples removed during breast reduction?

Your nipples remain attached to your breast tissue at all times during a breast reduction. They are never removed. We keep them attached to the breast tissue we are keeping to make you new breast with as part of the procedure. The blood flows through this remaining breast tissue to your nipples to keep them alive.

Will I have numb nipples after breast reduction? Could this numbness be permanent?

It is common to have some degree of numbness (pins and needles or lack of sensation) after breast reduction. Sometimes this is the result of any bruising and swelling that is present and as the bruising and swelling resolves over the first few weeks following a procedure this slowly goes away.

It is possible to have a permanently numb nipple following breast reduction. This is one of the important risks to consider and understand before deciding to proceed with any procedure.

Can I have the size of my nipples reduced as part of a breast reduction?

Most if not all women considering having breast reduction have nipples which are stretched and overly large. As a routine part of our discussions about breast reduction we will discuss this with you but almost 100% of women having a breast reduction have their nipple size reduced to match the new size of their now smaller breasts.

As well as being stretched and overly large my nipples are misshapen. Can this be fixed at a breast reduction procedure?

It is not uncommon, in addition to being stretched, to see women whose nipples are not round but oblong in shape. This is usually the result of the weight of your breasts dragging downwards more vertically and in the sideways direction. Your nipples therefore over time may be stretched longer in the vertical direction than from side to side resulting in this appearance.

This can the addressed at breast reduction in 3 ways removing the excessive dragging, weight of the breasts, repositioning the nipples back onto your chest to a more favorable position and reducing the size of your nipples to restore a more rounded normal looking shape.

I have inverted nipples can this be corrected during a breast reduction?

Inverted nipples are not uncommon. Sometimes when we perform breast reduction repositioning the remaining breast tissue and nipples on the chest wall corrects this issue. Sometimes you may need a small second procedure to correct some months after breast reduction. If required it can be performed under local anaesthetic without requiring hospital admission. It is quite rarely required.

I don’t have inverted nipples now. Could breast reduction result in an inverted nipple?

This is possible but rarely seen. If it was to happen it can be corrected by a small second procedure some months after breast reduction performed under local anaesthetic without the need for hospital admission.

Could I develop nipple asymmetry as a result of a breast reduction procedure?

It is possible to develop differences in nipple size following breast reduction. It is not common but potential issues are minor difference in size of the nipples from side to side. We actually measure and mark the nipple size exactly the same at the time of breast reduction but differences in the stretching of your skin from side to side can result in developing difference over time.

Similarly even though we measure and mark your new nipple size and shape with perfect circles it is possible that over time your nipples will stretch and not retain this shape.

Could my nipples die as a result of a breast reduction procedure?

Fortunately this is a rare issue but it is certainly possible that the circulation to the skin of the nipple can be damaged during breast reduction. It is possible that over days following a breast reduction that this skin can die. If this occurs physically you are likely to remain well but emotionally it is an extremely distressing event and you would require a great deal of emotional support. If this was to occur you would require further procedures to reconstruct a new nipple. This complication of breast reduction is rare.

Signs Of Hematoma After Breast Reduction

A superficial under-the-skin hematoma will be easy to see. A hematoma occurring deeper in your breast may not show the bruise for several days.

If a hematoma appears after surgery, you’ll usually notice changes to your breast within 24 to 72 hours of the procedure. A hematoma can occur even if drains are in place.

Symptoms include:

  • Discoloration that fades over time like a bruise (from dark purple/red to green to gray to yellow).
  • Breast pain and/or tenderness.
  • A lump that can feel spongy or firm to touch.
  • Swelling.

Severe Bruising After Breast Reduction

You can expect the most severe bruising in the first two days after your breast reduction. At this stage, your bruising may be very dark and noticeable.

After 5-10 days, you should see your bruises begin to turn yellow. 

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