After implant reconstruction or autologous reconstruction, you can decide if you'd like to have your nipple reconstructed, too. Some women do and some don't — the choice is up to you. You have time to make that decision. Nipple reconstruction is done after the reconstructed breast has had time to heal — at least 3 or 4 months after reconstruction surgery. But you can take longer to decide if you'd like.
The nipple may be reconstructed from the surrounding skin at the site desired for nipple placement. The surgeon makes small incisions and then elevates the tissue into position, forming and shaping it into a living tissue projection that mimics the natural nipple. Older techniques, which used donor tissue from the genital region or elsewhere, have become less favored over time.
Whether or not you have your nipple rebuilt, you have the option to have a nipple tattoo. One option is an older method of medical tattooing using dermabrasion and ink. Another option is the more realistic-looking 3D nipple tattoos showing depth and color variation.
In this section you can read about:
- Nipple Reconstruction Surgery: What to Expect
- Nipple Reconstruction Surgery Risks
- Traditional Nipple Tattoos
- 3D Nipple Tattoos
- Stick-on Nipples