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Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple Reconstruction

The loss of one or both nipples, typically due to mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery, can inflict serious injury to a woman’s self-image. Some women are likewise self-conscious or embarrassed about what they consider to be abnormal or unattractive nipples. Thankfully, nipple reconstruction surgeries are available to complete the visual reconstruction of tissue lost to cancer or to complement other breast augmentation or reduction surgeries. Many patients and doctors view nipple reconstruction as the final necessary step to achieve a restored, natural appearance; it is not, however, a vital component and many women opt out of the procedure.  Check out our Videos Page to see some very detailed on Videos on Nipple Reconstruction Surgery.

Nipple and areola reconstruction is a personal choice, and there is no single correct solution. Women who choose to undergo the procedure normally desire to have a more natural looking breast. Others do not wish to undergo further surgery, as most reconstructions take place several months after the original breast surgery. Few surgeons will perform nipple reconstruction simultaneously with other plastic surgeries; they wish for the breast to settle into a final position before placing the nipple. Because of the small scale and relatively minor invasiveness, nipple reconstruction is typically performed on an outpatient basis, may be done in a hospital or surgical clinic and generally takes less than two hours to complete.

Many options are available for those who do want full Nipple Reconstruction Surgery.   A flap of skin from the breast itself may be sewn into a mound, which becomes the nipple. Sometimes a graft of skin taken from elsewhere on the body is used to create the areola. The location of this skin is dependent on doctor preference, but is often from the inner thigh or the buttock crease. The final contour can then be given a natural coloration by tattooing, also called micropigmentation. For those wishing to achieve the appearance of an anatomically correct breast without undergoing further surgery, reconstructive tattooing is available as a standalone procedure.

Most nipple reconstructions are performed as the final procedure of breast reconstructive surgery; as such, insurance companies are required by law to cover the associated Costs of Nipple Reconstruction.  As with any non-routine medical procedure, patients should consult their doctors and insurance representatives to verify cost coverage before committing to the surgery.

Undergoing nipple reconstruction, like the breast reconstruction it usually seeks to complete, is a process filled with intensely personal choices. Patients considering nipple reconstruction are advised to learn as much as they can about the several options available to them and discuss each thoroughly with their surgeon before committing to a particular reconstruction plan. With sufficient education, patient/provider dialogue and planning, most women considering nipple reconstruction can obtain a procedure and a final appearance that restores not only their anatomy but also their self-image, confidence and sense of personal femininity.  Keep checking back for News and Updates on New Nipple Reconstruction Techniques.