Nipple Tattoo &
For the majority of patients undergoing a mastectomy, the nipple and areola are removed. Therefore, many women choose to undergo nipple reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstruction surgery rebuilds the breast mound while a nipple reconstruction surgery is an attempt to create a elevated nipple. However, this does not create an areola effect. The areola is created by tattooing.
At Soma Plastic Surgery we understand that nipple/areola reconstruction can have a trans-formative impact on the results of breast reconstruction and we are happy to provide these services.
How Is Nipple Reconstruction Achieved?
After your breast has healed from breast reconstruction or mastectomy, Dr. Papanicolaou can reconstruct a new nipple. Typically during nipple reconstruction surgery a small incision is made at the site where the nipple will be. The skin is formed into a nipple shape and small sutures (stitches) are used to secure the form. Once the nipple is sewn into place, a nipple shield (a protective covering shaped like a tiny hat with a wide flat brim) is filled with antibacterial ointment and taped over the reconstructed nipple to protect it. This protective shield stays on for about 7 days. The new nipple and surrounding "areola"can be tattooed about 3 months after surgery.
Nipple and Areola Tattooing:
Nipple areola tattooing typically takes less than an hour and can be performed in-office Pigments are mixed so that the tattoo closely matches your previous nipple or a shade that goes well with your skin tone. We may be able to accomplish this in one sitting, but a second sitting is sometimes needed for a better color match and fading during the healing process usually months later. Breast numbness after a mastectomy is common, so most patients feel little to no pain when getting a nipple tattoo after a mastectomy.
How Much Does Nipple and Areola Reconstruction Cost?
Nipple reconstruction and tattoos are covered by most insurance plans if you meet certain criteria. Our office will check with your insurance first and advise you of any out of pocket cost before any procedures.