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Nipple Reconstruction vs 3D Nipple-Areola Tattooing

Nipple Reconstruction vs 3D Nipple-Areola Tattooing

Can You Make Your Reconstructed Breasts Smaller During Stage 2?

For patients who are not candidates or who opt against nipple-sparing mastectomy, One of the several options patients have after breast reconstruction surgery is complete, is to have the appearance of the nipple and areola recreated. When it comes to reconstructing your nipple, you have a couple of different options: Nipple Reconstruction and 3D Nipple-Areola Tattooing.

Making a decision in regards to how and if you want to reconstruct your nipple and areola does not have to be rushed. Typically the breast needs to heal from breast reconstruction surgery for up to six months before you can move forward with a reconstructed nipple or a tattoo.

Nipple Reconstruction

At PRMA, the surgeons perform nipple reconstruction by cutting a “bow-tie” shaped skin flap on the breast.  The flap is lifted, shaped, and sutured to create a “natural”, projecting nipple.  This can be done during revision surgery in the operating room, or as a separate procedure in the office under local anesthetic.

The biggest advantage of having your nipple reconstructed with surgery is that it will project out from the breast – creating a more natural appearance.

Some disadvantages include the fact that it does require another surgery. In addition, a reconstructed nipple will most likely flatten and lose most of its projection over time.

It’s important to understand the rebuilt nipple will not feel or respond the same way a natural nipple does. Patients who receive sensory nerve reconstruction along with certain types of flap breast reconstruction will have a much better chance of regaining feeling in the reconstructed nipple-areola long-term though.

3D Nipple-Areola Tattoos

After breast reconstruction, patients have the option to restore the appearance of the nipple and areola with a tattoo.

Our nurses at PRMA  are specially trained in advanced 3D nipple/areola tattooing techniques. These tattoos are created by using needles to insert the ink into the reconstructed breast skin. The nurses can create amazing results making your breast appear as though the nipple was never removed due to breast cancer surgery.

The 3D technique results make it to where the nipple will appear completely three-dimensional with protruding volume, but it will be flat to the touch. In the setting of a 3D tattoo, nipple reconstruction is not needed to achieve a natural-looking erect nipple.

Advantages:

  • Patients can avoid having nipple reconstruction surgery.
  • Little to no pain associated with this procedure.
  • Easier recovery process.

Some patients may see it as a disadvantage that a 3D nipple has no dimension, however, others say they enjoy not wearing a bra and the fact their nipples cannot be seen through clothes.

What Are My Options?

At PRMA, we encourage our patients to learn about all of their options. To schedule a consultation please call us at 800-692-5565 or complete our virtual consultation form HERE.

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