Nipple Tattoos Instead of Nipple Reconstruction Surgery–
After a mastectomy, it can be a challenge for a woman to determine the best way to feel completely whole and beautiful again. Some choose to have breast reconstruction surgery, which reconstructs the breast mound but generally does not address the nipple. A second surgery can recreate a nipple out of surrounding tissue. However, some women are reluctant to undergo a second reconstructive surgery to replace the nipple, and more and more women are opting for 3D nipple tattoos, a procedure that is non-surgical.
Birmingham, MI area board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali understands that breast and nipple reconstruction surgery is an incredibly personal and individual decision. In his practice, he is committed to achieving the most natural appearance possible, and employs state of the art techniques to ensure the most beautiful, natural looking results. His experience in medical nipple tattoos gives women the option to either enhance the appearance of the nipple by adding color to it and the surrounding areola, or to avoid the additional surgical procedure and still receive natural-looking nipples through 3D tattoos.
What are Nipple Tattoos?
Tattooing may be employed in two scenarios in nipple reconstruction. If the patient has had nipple reconstructive surgery where a raised nipple and areola have been created, tattooing can add the darker pigmented coloring of a natural nipple-areolar complex. The physician uses a medical tattoo machine to insert color into the skin to recreate the normal darker coloring of the nipple and surrounding areola. Or, the nipple can simply be tattooed onto the breast using a 3D tattoo, without rebuilding raised tissue through surgery.
3D Nipple Tattoos
If the patient does not wish to undergo the additional surgery needed to recreate a nipple, by using 3D tattooing techniques, a nipple can be created from scratch, using coloring and highlighting to simulate texture and projection. While there is no actual bump, Dr. Ali’s expertise enables him to create very realistic three-dimensional tattoos. And it can all be done in our office, with virtually no down time.
This can be the best of both worlds for women – their breasts have the appearance of a projected nipple, without the actual projection. This can be an advantage if they want to eliminate the need to wear a bra for coverage under their clothes.
Reasons for Nipple Tattoos instead of Surgery
Nipple reconstruction surgery is routine and carries very little risk. However, after undergoing a mastectomy and then breast reconstruction, many women don’t wish to have yet another surgical procedure. Nipple tattoos provide the perfect option, and are performed quickly with little or no risk of infection or pain. And, there’s no need to take additional time off of work to recover.
Nipple tattooing allows a woman to feel complete again without surgery when she looks at herself in the mirror or is being intimate.
Timing of Nipple Tattoos
Generally, nipple tattooing is safe to perform between 3 and 5 months after surgery. The determining factor is the location of the incisions or scars. If the mastectomy scar does not lie across the middle of the breast where the nipple would normally be, usually a 3 month waiting period is sufficient. However, if the incision was made across the nipple area, a longer healing time is needed, usually around 5 months. Dr. Ali can work with you to ensure the timing is right for the best results.
Nipple Tattoo Pain
In terms of pain, a nipple tattoo will generally hurt less than a normal tattoo. This is because mastectomies and reconstruction generally leave only surface nerves in the breast skin. So, many women report less pain during the procedure, and that they simply feel pressure or vibrations rather than the sharper pain associated with typical tattoos.
Most Insurance Companies Cover Nipple Tattooing
Insurance companies routinely cover breast reconstruction following mastectomies, and that includes either surgical nipple reconstruction or nipple tattooing procedures.
Medical Nipple Tattoos – Birmingham, MI
At AMAE plastic surgery we celebrate the uniqueness of every woman, respect her individual courage to heal, and support the creative path she chooses to take as she recovers. Whether you select nipple reconstruction surgery, areola tattoo or 3D tattoo, Dr. Ali has the skill, experience and compassion to help you restore the appearance of your breasts and nipples.
Dr. Ali is a board certified Macomb County area plastic surgeon who has helped countless women get the breast appearance they love after a mastectomy. He will offer you a consultation to answer your questions and offer you understanding advice about your nipple reconstruction options.
If you have undergone a mastectomy after battling breast cancer, we are here to help you improve your nipples’ appearance. Live your best life, feeling attractive and confident in your appearance, with beautiful nipples.