A Nipple reconstruction surgery is performed to bringing back the nipples or the aerola of a women’s breast to normal shape and size post mastectomy (surgical removal of breasts). This proecedure may be considered as the final stage of breast reconstruction surgery or as a follow-up procedure.
Typically, nipple and areola reconstruction is performed at about 3 to 6 months after the primary breast reconstruction. This allows for optimal healing and the dissipation of post-op swelling.
Secondly a nipple resurrection surgery may also be useful for patients born with inverted nipples or with similar condition post trauma. Inverted nipples are caused by tight and shortened breast duct tissue. Women with inverted nipples may face difficulty in nursing their child, so a nipple resurrection surgery is performed by releasing some foreshortened ducts to Evert the nipples, bringing it to normal.
Further a nipple reconstruction surgery involves reduction of the overly large nipples or areolas. Overly large nipples can cause embarrassment when erect as well as make the fitting of undergarments uncomfortable. A smaller nipple as well as a less prominent areola is preferred as both are less noticeable under clothing. In the condition of the patient having over large nipples a nipple reconstruction surgery is suggested to bring them back to normal size.
How is a nipple reconstruction surgery performed?
Two main techniques are used to reconstruct a nipple. In the first technique, skin on the new breast can be folded into a nipple shape – this is a nipple flap. In the second technique part of the nipple on the natural breast is removed and placed on the new breast – a nipple sharing graft.
What is the time required for completing a nipple reconstruction procedure & is there much discomfort during the procedure?
It usually takes no longer than two hours to perform nipple reconstruction surgery. Time requirements can vary depending on the type of surgery opted.
Nipple reconstruction is usually performed after breast reconstruction, so the breast does not have much feeling, thus pain and discomfort is quite minimal. After the nipple reconstruction, discomfort in the skin graft donor site can be expected, as the area is likely to be tender and sore which can be treated using proper oral medication.
What else can I combine Nipple Reconstruction with?
Nipple reconstruction is often performed as a follow up, or at the same time as, breast reconstruction. Some people may opt to get the nipples tattooed, which gives the reconstructed nipple a very good appearance.
Nipple tattooing is usually done under local anaesthetic, using either a local anaesthetic cream or an injection. The procedure usually takes 30–40 minutes and is aimed at enhancing the aesthetic appearance of one’s nipples.
How long will the effects of Nipple Reconstruction last?
Nipple reconstruction results can be permanent, barring any complications. If tattooing was used to darken the reconstructed areola, it may require eventual touching-up, as the color will inevitably fade with time.