Nipple Reconstruction

This information will help you prepare for your nipple reconstruction procedure. If your nipple reconstruction is being done in the operating room, your nurse will give you additional instructions.

Before Your Procedure

  • On the day of your procedure, wear a thin, nonpadded bra or a form-fitting, light-colored shirt. This will help you and your surgeon finalize where your nipple will be placed.

  • Bring loose clothing to wear home after your procedure. You do not want to have any pressure or friction on your incisions (surgical cuts).

  • You can shower, but do not put on any lotion, creams, powders, deodorant, makeup, or perfume on the day of your procedure.

  • If your surgery will be performed in the operating room and you were given stickers to help your surgeon place your nipple, wear them the day of your procedure.

  • If your procedure will be done in clinic:

    • You may be given a prescription for antibiotics. Please take your antibiotics as instructed 1 hour before your procedure. If you have any questions about this, please call your surgeon’s office.

    • You can eat your regular breakfast the morning of your procedure.

    • You do not need an escort to take you home. 

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After Your Procedure

Your first follow-up appointment will be _____ days after your procedure. For most people, the stitches are removed during this appointment.

Clothing

  • When you leave the hospital or clinic, wear clothing that is loose and comfortable. Do not wear clothing that rubs against your incisions.

  • If you will be traveling by car, place a small pillow or towel between the seat belt and your incision to prevent putting pressure on it. Do not let the seat belt rub against your incisions.

  • For the first 2 weeks after your procedure, avoid wearing any clothing that puts pressure on your nipple. If you wear a bra, make sure it fits loosely.

Nipple care

  • You can shower 48 hours after your procedure.

  • If you have any bandages, remove them when you shower. You do not need to put another bandage on your incisions after you shower, unless you are given other instructions.

  • Gently wash your nipple with soap and water. Do not use a washcloth or a scrubbing cloth or brush.

Restrictions on physical activity

Your doctors and nurses will give you instructions on what exercises and movements you can do while your incisions are healing. Check with your doctor or nurse before starting heavy exercises, such as:

  • Running

  • Jogging

  • Lifting weights

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Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have Any of the Following:

  • A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher

  • Redness, warmth, or increased pain in your nipple area

  • Shaking chills

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Shortness of breath

  • Drainage or oozing from your incisions

  • Any type of skin infection on any part of your body

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If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.
Nipple Reconstruction
©2015 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Generated on July 3, 2015