What Is Nipple Reconstruction
Nipple reconstruction surgery is a procedure in which a surgeon reconstructs the nipple after a mastectomy, or surgical removal of the breast.
When Should You Consider Nipple Reconstruction Surgery?
The nipple and areola reconstruction surgery is usually done during the final phase of the breast reconstruction process, after 6 months from the initial surgery.
Types of Nipple Reconstruction
1. Skin Flap Reconstruction
A surgeon can raise small flaps of skin from around the area where the intended nipple location is to be. They will then fold and sew together these skin flaps above the level of the surrounding skin, creating a bump that will become the new nipple.
2. Skin Graft Reconstruction
To create a nipple from a skin graft, a surgeon will take a small piece of skin from a different part of the body — such as the inner thigh, stomach, or buttocks — to create the areola. Depending on the amount of available skin tissue, they may be able to construct the nipple from the skin of the breast mound.
3. Medical Tattooing
Medical tattooing is suitable 3 months after the surgery. A person may choose to get a medical tattoo over the top of a reconstructed nipple to make it look more natural. This can also help create the pigmented areola.