Nipple Reconstruction

This information will help prepare for your nipple reconstruction. If your nipple reconstruction is being performed 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 procedure sites.
  • You can shower, but do not put on any lotion, creams, powders, deodorant, makeup, or perfume.
  • If you were given stickers to help your surgeon place your nipple, wear them the day of your procedure.

If your procedure will be performed in clinic, you may be given a prescription for 2 grams of the antibiotic cephalosporin (Keflex®) or 500 mg of the antibiotic levofloxacin (Levaquin®). Tell your surgeon if you are allergic to either of these antibiotics.

If you were given a prescription for cephalosporin or levofloxacin, please take all capsules 1 hour before your procedure.

  • You can eat your regular breakfast the morning of the procedure.
  • You do not need an escort to take you home.
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After Your Procedure


  • When you leave the hospital, you should wear clothing that is loose and comfortable. Do not wear clothing that rubs against your incisions (surgical cuts).
  • If you will be traveling by car, place a small pillow or towel in between the seat belt and your incision to prevent putting pressure on it.
  • For the first 2 weeks of recovery, you should 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 surgery. If you have any bandages, remove them when you shower. You do not need to put another bandage on your incisions after you shower. Gently wash your nipple with soap and water. Do not use a washcloth or a scrubbing cloth or brush.

Your first follow-up appointment will be ________days after your procedure. For many patients, the sutures (stitches) are removed during this appointment.

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 the nipple/areola area.
  • Shaking chills
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Drainage or oozing from an incision
  • 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
Printed on May 28, 2015, 9:41 pm