In this Guide

If you’ve either been scheduled for or are contemplating nipple reconstruction, you probably have some questions. Our guide offers the answers you’re looking for, and helps you prepare for your operation.

About the Operation

We prefer to allow your reconstructed breast to "settle" for at least 3 months so that the nipple and/or areola can be placed in the proper position. Nipple-areola complex reconstruction is done usually with local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, however it can also be combined with​ further breast revisions requiring general anesthesia. Either option does not require for you to stay overnight at the hospital. This procedure usually involves very little discomfort.

In this section, we will specifically discuss nipple reconstruction. Typically, if patients are interested in areola tattooing, this procedure occurs 3 months following nipple reconstruction.

Options for reconstruction of the nipple include:

  • Using tissue and fat of the reconstructed breast (local flap).
  • Using the opposite nipple if it is large or very pointy (nipple share).
  • Using tissue from the other part of the body (labia, most commonly).
  • 3D tattoo by a medical tattoo artist.
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