Nipple Areolar reconstruction is the last stage of breast reconstruction following cancer surgery and brings a satisfying end to your surgical treatment as the breast finally appears complete. Under local or general anaesthetic, the nipple mound is constructed using the existing skin of the reconstructed breast. Additional skin in the form of a skin graft is also sometimes used to create the round areola.

Nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a day procedure. This final stage of reconstruction also serves as an opportune time to revise any minor asymmetries between your natural and augmented breasts. The nipple and areola can be tattooed to match the skin tones of your other breast a few months after the surgery.

The Procedure

Nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a day procedure. Reconstruction of the nipple and areola typically requires 1-2 hours to complete. This final stage of reconstruction also serves as an opportune time to revise any minor asymmetries between your natural and augmented breasts. The nipple and areola can be tattooed to match the skin tones of your other breast a few months after the surgery.

The Recovery

Most patients will have some mild pain or discomfort, but return to their normal activities after a few days. As with all surgical procedures, it is important to realise that these guidelines can vary based on a patient’s personal health and other variable aspects surrounding the surgery. It is important not to subject the treated area to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the healing period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nipple reconstruction is ideally performed as the final stage of breast reconstruction surgery. It is best to allow a few months of “settling” time for your reconstructed breast to reach its endpoint shape and size
The surgery is performed under local or general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital. Most nipple reconstructions are performed as day surgery procedures.
A nipple reconstruction can diminish in size over time or with subsequent radiotherapy treatment.
The scars of a nipple reconstruction are usually camouflaged by subsequent areola tattooing.
The cost of surgery is determined by the extended complexity and duration of your operation and will be estimated following your first consultation.
This procedure may attract an item number from Medicare. The Medicare item number is 45545.
When cancer patients undergo a complete mastectomy, the entire breast and all associated parts are removed. A reconstruction surgery can re-create the look of your natural nipple and areola, using skin and muscle tissue from different areas of your body. The new nipple and areola area can be darkened using tattooing pigmentation to make the colour more natural.
Many women who have undergone a breast reconstruction after breast cancer feel like the process is not complete until their breast has a nipple-areola complex. For a woman who has lost one breast, the reconstructed breast will match the natural breast more closely, and the shape of the nipple will be the same on both sides.
Some women report the flattening of their nipples after undergoing reconstructive surgery and this is typically caused by something that occurred during the healing process. After surgery, until the nipples have completely healed, it is important not to wear tight clothing or bras because this will push up against your recovering nipples causing them damage.

You will be seen by your surgeon within 7 days of your surgery.Regular appointments are made to remove sutures and to check on your healing following surgery.

You will be given a Plastic Surgery Recovery guide upon booking your surgery. This document explains in great detail all of your after care following surgery.

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