The First Post-Op View
The First View
The first post-op view of your breasts can be a source of fear for most women who have had a free nipple graft. We hope that this information will help you prepare for what you might see.
After your surgery your nipples will be covered with a bolster, which looks something like a yellow flower. The bolster will be on your nipples to keep constant pressure on them for about the first week. When it is time for the bolster to come off, the surgeon will cut the stitches and pour some sterile water on the bolster, and it will roll off without any pain. Then the first view can be had, if you so choose. First off, remember that your nipples have been covered up for some time now without any air hitting them, and in the next few days they are going to go through many changes.
Your nipples may be lighter in color than normal, but once the air and blood circulate they will gain some color. The color will continue to fill in over the next several months, with color changes even reported at a year post op. Some women also report looking "off center" at first, but as healing progressed were happy with their nipple placement. You will see the stitches that attach the nipple to your breast, much like the stitches of any of the pedicle methods. Additionally, your nipples may appear "pushed in" because of the covering that has been on them.
A few days after the covers come off your nipples the dark skin on your nipples may slough (slide) off, leaving healthy pink tissue showing. This is normal, although it can be very scary if you're not aware it might happen.
Don't be afraid to look at your nipples. From the first look to the next few months, you will be able to witness an amazing transformation. Remember that this is just the beginning of your recovery, and every day something will look a little different.