Some women decide they only want the shape of the breast reconstructed, others choose to have a nipple reconstruction to make their breast look complete. The appearance of the nipple and areola can be created in several ways.
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These stick to the skin and stay in place for several days. They are available from breast prostheses suppliers.
A small operation can reconstruct a nipple and the areola. This operation is generally done several months after a reconstruction to give the original operation time to heal and because the reconstructed breast may sag slightly after surgery.
Nipple reconstruction is done using tissue from your remaining nipple, if you have one, or with tissue from the new implant or flap.
The new nipple won’t have nerves, so it will not feel any sensation or become erect to touch.
If you have a natural breast remaining, the new nipple can be tattooed to match the colour of the other nipple.
Most reconstructive surgeons can do the tattooing or have a trained nurse do it, but you may prefer to have the nipples tattooed by a professional medical tattooist or beauty therapist.
Initially, the tattoo will look darker than the remaining nipple, but it will fade with time to match in colour.
Woman with a reconstructed breast and nipple (no tattoo)