Tattooing the Nipple and Areola for a Complete Reconstruction
Nipple Areola Tattoo
Nipple areola reconstruction can have a transformative impact on the results of breast reconstruction. The plastic surgeons of the New York Breast Reconstruction Associates at Aesthetic Plastic, P.C. understand that a detail-oriented approach is critical in achieving the best possible outcome following breast reconstruction and nipple areola reconstruction. In addition to achieving nipple projection, providing a natural nipple areola color is an important goal. To accomplish this, we perform nipple areola tattooing as an effective procedure, which provides the finishing touch to breast reconstruction. To arrange a consultation or schedule your nipple areola tattooing appointment, please contact our plastic surgery practice today.
Nipple Areola Tattooing Procedure
Nipple areola tattooing typically takes less than an hour and can be performed in-office at our Long Island, New York surgical facility. If you have undergone unilateral breast reconstruction, we can mix pigments so that the tattoo closely matches your existing nipple areola color. We may be able to accomplish this in one sitting, but a second sitting is frequently needed for a better color match. If you have undergone bilateral breast reconstruction, we can create the appropriate natural color based on your pre-mastectomy photos, or we can mix pigments to create a color that nicely complements your skin tone. The choice of nipple areola color can be slightly darker or lighter depending on an individual woman’s preference.
Whether you have undergone implant reconstruction or autogenous tissue reconstruction, it is possible to regain some degree of sensation in the breast. For this reason, a local anesthetic is typically administered prior to the nipple areola tattooing session. During the procedure, the ink will be injected underneath the skin with the tattooing instrument, which has tiny reciprocating needles. The overall effect is a sensation of pushing and vibration against the reconstructed breast, but it should not be painful.
To care for the nipple areola tattoo, we will provide you with healing ointment and non-adherent gauze dressings. During the first few days of recovery, you should change your dressings twice daily or more frequently if needed. At each dressing change, the ointment is reapplied. We recommend that you apply a liberal amount of ointment and use the non-adherent gauze. The tattoo will ooze a combination of blood and ink for approximately a day following the tattooing, but this is normal. As the bleeding dissipates and the ink incorporates, the true color of the nipple areola tattoo will become more apparent. Many patients are surprised by how dark the tattoo may appear the day after treatment, but it is important to remember that this color will fade.
During recovery, it is advised that you keep the nipple areola tattoo moist with ointment. In order to minimize the risk of agitating the tattoo, some women choose to avoid wearing bras or shirts while at home in the early period after tattooing. Over the course of several weeks, the tattoo will heal completely and the true color will be revealed. If the color is not ideal, an additional nipple areola tattooing session can be used to achieve the color you desire.
Contact the Plastic Surgeons of the
New York Breast Reconstruction Associates at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PC
Please contact our Long Island plastic surgery practice today to arrange a consultation with our team of reconstructive surgeons. Nipple areola tattooing is a simple and effective procedure that can get you over the final hurdle of your breast reconstruction.