Nipple-areola complex reconstruction (NAR) represents the final step in breast reconstruction after mastectomy and other cancer treatments. It helps women feel whole after surgeries and completes the reconstructed breasts look.
Several methods can be used for NAR, including skin grafts, tattooing, and local flap reconstruction. Choosing the right techniques for a patient depends on many factors, including color selection.
This operating room procedure uses skin from another part of your body to create a new nipple and areola. The surgeon will shave off the surface layer of your skin (epidermis) and a portion of the deeper tissue (dermis). A split-thickness skin graft is typically harvested from the front or outer thigh, though other areas may be used.
Once the graft is placed, it is covered with a bolster dressing and allowed to heal. During this time, you can expect swelling and pain to occur. Some bruising will also likely be present.
Cosmetically tattooed micro pigmentation can camouflage scars and add color to a grafted areola or nipple. This process is especially popular for women with mastectomies or other breast surgeries and those with irregular or fading areolas. Spas like Laguna Med Spa Areola Restoration specialize in these advanced pigmentation techniques and pride their sharp color-blending sensibilities.
For breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy or other breast surgery to reclaim their femininity, our 3D areola restoration process is an amazing solution. It uses cosmetic tattooing techniques to mimic the appearance of a natural-looking areola complex, including a protruding nipple if no one is present.
This can be especially beneficial to women with a grafted areola, as it can help improve the color match and create symmetry. Those with irregular or fading areolas who want to increase their size or would like a more natural look can also benefit from this service.
Another popular and non-invasive method for covering hair loss is scalp micro pigmentation (SMP). This technique works by applying tiny amounts of pigment to the scalp to create the appearance of fuller, thicker hair. The results are incredibly realistic and completely natural-looking. This is an excellent option for both men and women, regardless of the severity of their hair loss.
Scar camouflage (also known as corrective pigment tattooing) is a safe cosmetic tattoo procedure that uses flesh-colored ink to conceal the color and texture of scars. It’s often used in conjunction with surgical nipple reconstruction procedures.
Candidates for scar camouflage include patients with nipple scars from mastectomy or other breast operations, peri-areolar scars, burn imperfections and other skin abnormalities. The wounds should be healed and no longer pink, changing color or inconsistent texture to be a good candidate for this treatment.
For many breast cancer survivors, reconstructing a nipple and areola complex is the final step in reclaiming their bodies and feeling whole again after a mastectomy. The appearance of a natural-looking areola can be emotionally healing for a woman, reclaiming her femininity in a way that a nipple transplant or skin graft cannot. For men, restoring an areola can also be psychologically important, allowing them to feel fully repaired. Our pigmentation techniques are much less invasive than surgery but deliver a beautiful and natural-looking result!
When you choose nipple restoration, we use cosmetic tattooing techniques to simulate your original areola’s color, texture, and shape. This is often done with nipple reconstruction surgery, but it can be performed for people who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy for other reasons.
During nipple reconstruction, our surgeon rearranges the skin tissue on the breast mound to create a new nipple. They may use tissue from the inner thigh, stomach, or buttocks to form the areola if there isn’t enough skin tissue on the breast mound.
This type of nipple reconstruction is more invasive than skin flap procedures but can provide a more realistic-looking nipple. The new nipple will still flatten or retract over time, though. Nipple restoration is the final piece of a comprehensive breast reconstruction technique that can bring you back to your pre-mastectomy appearance. It can also close the circle of recovery and restore a sense of wholeness for our patients.