Supporting women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer

Areola Tattooing

by c

After the revision and nipples had healed, I started thinking about when I might have the areolae tattooed. Before the revision op , I had thought I might have 3 D tattooing which avoids more invasive surgery in the area; but as I had areolar tissue left which could be used as local flaps to create nipples of the right colour and texture as opposed to a graft from ear or toe pulp, or labial tissue as some surgeons favour ( but which occasionally fail) I decided to go for surgical reconstruction.

There was no extra scarring as the incisions were central and transverse so the surgeon used these again. Where there is no central scarring, a patient might prefer 3 D tattooing as shading can be used to create the impression of a nipple and the result can be very realistic. Choice of colour and size were important to me so I took to my appointment my stick-on silicone nipples which were cast from my originals and were a good colour match together with a photo to help this process. We mixed colours and discussed the outcome: as with any interventions, it is important to be realistic. A local anaesthetic cream was applied and the actual tattooing took about an hour. It is a sensitive area but any post-surgical numbness helps the discomfort.

My new nipples did not have to be tattooed as they were the right colour and as they can shrink post-tattooing I was happy to avoid this.

Aftercare is very important to avoid infection so I had dressings to apply and had to keep the area dry while healing; after about 2 weeks, the top layer of the tattoo started coming off, showing the paler skin underneath. The result is very good and I feel that my reconstruction is finished which helps with moving on post-surgery.

From the beginning :
Risk Reducing Mastectomies in 2 OPs
Preventative Oophorectomy
Nipple Reconstruction