I may finally have an answer as to WHY I ended up with necrosed nipples. There have been theories over the past three years that I was dropped during surgery or that “something really bad happened” during that initial breast lift and augmentation. The doctor consulted in the article I co-wrote in Real People magazine suggested that if the Pedicle Flap was damaged during the procedure, that would cause reduced blood supply to the newly moved nipples and areolae, thus contributing to tissue death.
If we combine pedicle flap damage with the additional pressure of 300ccs of serous fluid in the pockets that were formed for the implants, that could definitely explain why I lost both of my nipples and areolae to necrosis.
For those of you who choose not to click on the links but want to know what a pedicle flap is anyway, it is a surgical flap sustained by a blood-carrying stem from the donor site during transfer.
In other words, with an anchor lift, the areolae and nipple are supposedly left attached to a small flap of tissue that supplies it with blood and oxygen while it is being moved to the new site.
I have to say that in absolutely NONE of the three consultations I had with plastic surgery offices mentioned a pedicle flap in conjunction with an anchor lift. I would think that it would be important to mention how your nipple is going to stay alive. In the procedure an incision is cut around the areolae and it is moved up on the breast. In all honesty, it never once occurred to me to ask about blood supply to the tissue WHILE it was being moved in my first surgery. This is one of the things I just didn’t think through.
I’m actually pretty happy and relieved to finally discover for certain that the loss of my nipples and areolae probably wasn’t my fault. For years I have been blaming myself. I was sure that, somehow, I had done something wrong even though I followed all the instructions I was given for pre- and post-surgical care to the letter.
Perhaps now some mental healing can really begin.