Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Serving Denver, Lone Tree, Colorado & Nationwide
Nipple-sparing mastectomies are becoming increasingly common. Still, there are plenty of women who are not candidates for this type of breast cancer surgery. If you belong to that group, you may choose to get nipple tattoos as the final stage of your breast reconstruction.
The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery serves Denver, Lone Tree, and nearby areas of Colorado. Many patients also travel from across the country for our expertise.
What Is Nipple Tattooing?
Nipple tattooing is a way to recreate the appearance of your nipple and areola. The process is similar to getting a tattoo anywhere else on your body. In this case, the difference is that it involves the application of medical-grade pigments to the center of your reconstructed breast.
One of the biggest advantages of nipple tattooing is that it is very customizable. You can work with our team to choose details such as the color, size, and placement of your nipple tattoos.
What Are the Common Reasons for Nipple Tattooing?
There are a few different reasons to get a nipple tattoo. To begin with, it is a relatively simple treatment that has a high degree of satisfaction among patients. And unlike some secondary surgeries after breast reconstruction, it does not add any new scars to the breast. It can also be repeated as necessary to achieve the desired outcome and maintain the best possible results.
Is Nipple Tattooing Typically Done Post-Reconstruction?
Nipple tattooing is almost always done after breast reconstruction. It is uncommon to perform it at the time of implant-based or autologous procedures. Instead, most surgeons recommend waiting at least four months after reconstruction is finished to see the results of that surgery.
For patients who have undergone nipple reconstruction, there is also a waiting period. It is generally recommended to complete areola pigmentation no sooner than three months after nipple reconstruction. That will allow the latest incisions to heal well before doing a tattoo.
Who Is a Candidate for Areola Pigmentation?
You may be a candidate for nipple tattooing if you had breast reconstruction with a tissue flap or implant. It can also be done if you had subsequent breast shaping surgeries such as fat grafting.
However, areola pigmentation may not be right for everyone, including women who have damaged breast skin after radiation. It also may not work for those with overly thin breast skin due to mastectomy surgery. Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons will gladly evaluate your candidacy and determine if nipple tattooing is an appropriate treatment for you.
Is Nipple Tattooing Painful?
After mastectomy and reconstruction, most women lose sensation in their breast area. That means that it is common to feel little to no pain when getting a nipple tattoo. After the treatment, pain should be minimal and can typically be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications.
How Long Does It Take for the Tattoo Area To Heal?
It can take up to three weeks for a nipple tattoo to heal completely. At first, your tattoo will look red and irritated. The color may also look much darker than what you anticipated. These things are a normal part of the healing process. Please be patient as the color will gradually get lighter.
Nipple tattoo aftercare is relatively simple and straightforward. You will need to keep the area moist with a triple antibiotic ointment for at least five days. Expect some peeling to occur.
You may resume most regular activities, including eating, drinking, and exercising immediately following your procedure. However, please refrain from soaking in water for three weeks.
How Long Will the Nipple Tattoo Last?
Nipple tattoos should last for many years without noticeable fading. But keep in mind that there are many different factors at play. These include the color of the tattoo and how well you care for it over time.
Because every situation is slightly different, It is difficult to predict exactly how long your areola pigmentation will last before the color degrades or gets blurry. Fortunately, you will have the opportunity to touch up your tattoo if you ever decide that you want to enhance its appearance.
"I can’t say enough nice things about The Breast Center at Park Meadows. I came to them with specific concerns, and they immediately made me feel at ease, almost like I was talking to an old friend. My breast reconstruction was something I worried about, but I know I made the right choice at Park Meadows. For any woman who is facing breast reconstruction, I can’t recommend the doctors at The Breast Center enough!"
Schedule Your Areola Pigmentation Consultation in Lone Tree
Whether you had breast reconstruction performed at our practice or elsewhere, our staff will gladly determine if you are a candidate for enhancing your results through areola pigmentation. Call 303-706-1100 to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons. The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery serves Denver, Lone Tree, and nearby areas of Colorado, as well as across the country.