Although some women only want a reconstructed breast that provides shape and fullness when wearing a bra and are not concerned about the presence of a nipple, others want their reconstructed breast to appear as natural as possible when going braless or during intimate situations. Artificial nipples that stick to the breast using adhesive provide a non-surgical option; however, Beverly Hills plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Firouz can perform a procedure to create a natural-looking permanent nipple. Reconstruction of the nipple and the surrounding areola is often done in conjunction with a breast augmentation.
Reconstruction Of the Nipples
Several surgical techniques are available to reconstruct the nipple and the surrounding areola. One method involves taking a small skin flap from the existing breast and forming it into a nipple. Since the reconstructed breast does not contain active nerve endings, the procedure causes little to no discomfort.
A flap of skin may taken from another area of the body, such as the inner thigh or hip, and used to reconstruct the areola. It is normal for the site where the skin was harvested to be a little sore for a couple of weeks following the procedure; however, there is typically little discomfort around the graft site. An alternative to grafting is to tattoo the skin around the reconstructed nipple to mimic the appearance of an areola.
What Occurs After this Procedure
A nipple reconstruction is an outpatient procedure that is normally completed under general or local anesthesia in approximately two hours. Most patients are allowed to drive and return to work within a week of their surgery. Once the area is sufficiently healed, the nipple and surrounding areola can be tattooed for a more natural appearance. The tattooing typically requires two to three sessions lasting about 60 minutes each. It is important to note that the reconstructed nipple will not be sensitive to touch because of the lack of nerve endings.
Circumstances Creating the Need for Nipple Reconstruction
Although there may be some circumstances where the nipple and breast reconstruction can be completed at the same time, most surgeons recommend that patients wait approximately three months following breast reconstruction before undergoing nipple reconstruction. This allows time for any residual swelling from the initial surgery to subside and ensures that the breast is settled into its final position so that the new nipple can be positioned correctly.
Benefits of Nipple Reconstruction Surgery
Most women feel less self-confident when their reconstructed breast does not match their natural breast. A nipple reconstruction makes it possible to create a reconstructed breast that closely resembles a natural breast. The downside is that it does involve a second surgical procedure along with recovery time. There will also be some scarring at the site where the skin used to create the nipple is harvested.
Plastic Surgery of the Breasts and Nipples
If you’re considering Beverly Hills nipple reconstruction and would like more information about the procedure or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Firouz, please contact us today. Dr. Firouz is a board certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills who specializes in nipple reconstruction surgery as well as other cosmetic procedures of the face, skin, body, and breasts including mommy makeovers, tummy tuck and more.