Breast cancer might be nipple and areola sparing, but in many cases this beautiful component of the breast must be removed in breast cancer surgery. Nipples can be considered as the “cherry on top” of an aesthetically pleasing breast, and nipple-areola reconstruction is often the very last step of regaining femininity and confidence on the journey of a breast cancer patient.

Reconstruction of the nipple is possible, whereafter areola tattooing can be done. Patients might also opt to have nipple-areola tattooing done, rather than undergoing further surgery, and exceptional work is done by permanent tattoo artists in this regard.  Although 3-D tattooing of the nipple can present realistic results, the nipple will not have any projection. Stick-on nipple/areolas are also available but can cause frustration as the stick-on glue is not permanent.

The most ideal reconstruction offers symmetry in position, size, shape, texture, pigmentation and permanent projection, and many innovative and creative ways have been used to do this. Each method has its unique characteristics that apply to different breast types and can consist of composite nipple grafts and other local skin flaps or skin grafts.

Your safety is essential and will remain the primary concern in reconstructive procedures. Any reconstructive procedure will be tailored to you, considering the best aesthetic outcome, and the impact the reconstruction may have on your lifestyle.