Body art traditionally refers to tattoos and piercings, but some would say cosmetic plastic surgery is a form of body art. It is not scalpelling, but a scalpel is used. As body art becomes more main stream, questions regarding breast augmentation before and after nipple piercing come up more often than you might think.
Pre-Existing Nipple Piercing
If you have pierced nipples, and are considering breast implants, breast augmentation can be safely performed in the presence of pierced nipples. A few precautions need to be taken to maximize the safety and predictability of you surgery:
- The piercings need to be clean and without irritation. Irritated piercings are a set up for infection, and this could lead to an infection around the breast implants.
- The jewelry should be removed from the piercing immediately before surgery. Electrocautery is used routinely during surgery to prevent bleeding. An electric shock to your piercings would cause a burn.
- The jewelry should be replaced immediately after surgery. At the end of the breast augmentation I normally replace the jewelry to prevent the piercing from closing.
- If the piercing should become irritated or infected after surgery, it should be addressed immediately. Sometimes this means removing the jewelry from the piercing.
Nipple Piercing After Breast Augmentation
If you already have breast implants, and are considering getting your nipples pierced, I don’t recommend it. If you are still determined to get a nipple piercing, you need to be especially vigilant. Choose a reputable establishment, which uses sterile technique. Infections can occur with any piercing, and every infection has the potential to spread.
Nipple piercings can be especially problematic as the breast gland itself can become infected. This can put the both the breast tissue and the breast implants at risk, especially if your breast implants are in front of the pectoralis muscle. If there is any redness, swelling, discharge or increasing pain at the piercing site, call you plastic surgeon, and seek immediate treatment. The jewelry may need to be removed, but it is better to lose a piercing than to lose a breast implant.