What is nipple tattooing?
Nipple areola tattooing is now the most commonly used “finishing” procedure in the completion of breast reconstruction. Simple and fast, the procedure is usually performed in a plastic surgeon’s office.
You may want nipple tattooing if you have:
- Loss of nipple due to breast surgery
- Undergone breast and nipple reconstruction
The Beverly Hills Nipple Tattooing Procedure:
In the case of a unilateral breast reconstruction, the plastic surgeon will mix various colors and shades to obtain the correct pigment to match the opposing nipple. In the case of a bilateral breast reconstruction, the surgeon will use preoperative photos to try and match the previous nipple appearance, or the patient can choose their desired colors. In some cases, obtaining the right shade of color may require more than one tattoo procedure. As with any tattoo, the pigment color of the nipple and/or areola will fade with time, which may require more tattooing at a later date.
If the nipple and/or areola tattooing is performed shortly after completion of the breast reconstruction, it is likely that the breast area will still lack tactile sensation which means that the procedure will be minimally painful. However, if the breast area has regained some skin sensation, a local anesthetic can be used to minimize any sensation of pain. After drawing the outline of the areola, the surgeon will place the tattooing instrument against the breast. The instrument causes a pushing and vibrating sensation as many small needles transfer pigment into the skin. The entire process can take as little as fifteen minutes.