Approximately 3 months after your implants are placed during your breast reconstruction process, you will be able to start the nipple reconstruction process. Dr. Voge will discuss the options you have for nipple reconstruction. Nipple creation or reconstruction gives the reconstructed breast a “normal” appearance. While a reconstructed breast will never be exactly like your original breast, adding the nipple and areola will give it a finished appearance.
Nipple Reconstruction using skin and tissue
One of the options Dr. Vanessa Voge, a plastic surgeon in Wichita, Kansas will discuss with you is nipple reconstruction using the skin and tissue on your chest. The local tissue is folded in a certain way to create a three-dimensional nipple mound. This is an in-office procedure that takes about 60 minutes. Local anesthesia is used, so you are able to drive yourself to and from the appointment and you will be awake for the whole procedure. You are free to bring a phone or tablet to use while Dr. Voge is performing the procedure. After you have healed from this procedure the areola can be tattooed in the office to complete the reconstruction. The areola is the pink or dark circular part around a traditional nipple. During this process, our team helps you decide which color is right for you. This part is what really gives the nipple a “real” look.
Nipple Reconstruction using tattoo techniques
Nipple and areola reconstruction can also be performed with tattoo techniques alone. This is often called 3D-nipple tattoo reconstruction. Even though no nipple is created, shading techniques are utilized during the tattoo to make the nipple look three dimensional even though it is flat. We are glad to be able to offer this technique in our office. If you are interested in a 3-D nipple creation, please check out our 3-D tattoo page.
Nipple Reconstruction using a skin graft
Another option for nipple reconstruction is to have a skin graft during part of your reconstruction surgery. This approach is performed in the operating room. The nipple is created with local tissue as described above; but instead of having the areola created by tattoo, a skin graft is utilized. The skin graft gives a different texture and color appearance to the areola creation. The skin graft can be taken from the inner thigh or lower abdomen.
Nipple Reconstructions performed by Dr. Voge