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Frequently Asked Questions for

Nipple Reconstruction


1. Is there anything I need to avoid prior to surgery?


Please do not take any blood thinners such as non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen (Advil), Naproxen and others, Aspirin or Coumadin prior to surgery. 


Recreational Drugs or Alcohol should not be used 24 hours before and after surgery. These may interact with your post operative pain killers and cause serious complications.


Do not smoke for 1 month prior to and 1 month after surgery. Nicotine in cigarettes will cause problems with healing, increased risk of infection and the possibility of a dead nipple after surgery.


Get 8 hours of sleep per night in the two weeks prior to surgery. This will boost your immune system.

2. How is the nipple made?

The nipple can be made in two ways: the first is by cutting some of the skin on your breast and twisting it into a small nipple shape, the second is by taking half of your other nipple (if unilateral reconstruction) and grafting it onto your reconstructed breast.

3. Will I see Dr Macadam on the day of surgery?


Yes. This is done under local anaesthetic and you will be awake and talking to Dr Macadam during the surgery.

4. What will happen when I leave the surgery centre?


You will have a bulky dressing over the nipple. You are not allowed to take this dressing off until you see Dr Macadam in follow up one week after surgery. You are not allowed to shower during this time that the dressing is on.


You will not require prescriptions after this surgery.

5. When will I see Dr Macadam after surgery?


Our office will usually make your postoperative appointment prior to your surgery date. If this hasn’t been done please call the office to book an appointment for one week after surgery.

6. What should I avoid after surgery?


You may not lift anything heavier than 5lbs. Do not exercise. Exercise is restricted for 1-2 weeks because of the risk of bleeding and shearing the nipple reconstruction.  You must avoid pressure on the nipple reconstruction - no bra, no tight clothing and no sleeping on your stomach.

7. What are things to look for after surgery?


After you leave, there are a few things to watch during your healing process. If you see any of the following try calling Dr Macadam. If you cannot reach her please call VGH at 604‐875‐4111 and ask to page the plastic surgeon on call:

  • Excessive bleeding through your bandages.

  • Bandages fall off.


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