Nipple/ Areola Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction has become a popular procedure following a mastectomy (a surgical procedure to remove all breast tissue to treat or prevent breast cancer). Even after reconstructing your breast with implants or flap procedures, or a combination of techniques, it doesn’t truly look like a breast until the nipple/ areola have been reconstructed as well. Although breast reconstruction achieves restoration of the breast shape, only after the nipple-areola reconstruction the process is complete. Often Nipple/ Areola reconstruction improves patient reception and integration of the entire reconstruction process.
While treating breast cancer with a mastectomy, the nipple and areola are removed along with the breast. A few women can preserve their nipple and areola during mastectomy, where the nipple and areola are left in their place.
Nipple And Areola Reconstruction
The nipple is a projection on your breast, and the areola is a darkly pigmented skin surrounding your nipple approximately 4.2-4.5 cm in diameter. The nipple and areola reconstruction is the final stage of breast reconstruction. Usually, it is done after 3 to 4 months from breast reconstruction surgery.
Ideally, plastic surgeons try to match the position, size, shape, colour, and projection of new nipple and dark coloured areola to the original one during the reconstruction, particularly if both nipples are being reconstructed. The first choice of restoration begins with the lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery, depending on the cancer location, a nipple-sparing mastectomy can also be done by experienced plastic surgeons. If not so, you no need worry, there are several ways to reconstruct your nipple and areola.
Different Methods Of Nipple-Areola Reconstruction
Several procedures came into existence for nipple and areola reconstruction, and most involve elevating the existing breast tissue and constructing it in the form of a natural nipple. Generally, a skin graft might be taken to reconstruct the areola, or a tattoo procedure can also be used. Nipple reconstruction surgery involves recreating the darker-coloured areola and the elevated nipple. Reconstruction can be done either surgically or non-surgically as well.
Non-Surgical Options For Nipple-Areola Reconstruction
If you do not wish to reconstruct your nipple and areola surgically, Hyderabad Plastic Surgeons Breast Reconstruction team offers you Non-surgical methods to recreate a nipple and areola.
Moulded Silicone Prosthesis
This is a custom made nipple and areola prosthesis that match the size, colour and shape of the present nipple or as desired. The nipple-areola prosthetics are made out of silicone by our highly skilled medical professionals. For more information consult our Hyderabad plastic surgeons team, the best breast reconstruction plastic surgeons in Hyderabad and geta definite solution for your problem.
Nipple-Areola Reconstruction With Tattooing Procedure
Tattooing is a popularly used technique to reconstruct a natural-looking nipple and areola. Sometimes, additional skin grafts might also be used in this tattoo procedure. Women who don’t want additional surgeries mostly choose tattoo procedure or nipple reconstruction. Plastic surgeons and clinical staff perform this tattooing process using shading techniques with varying coloured pigments. Some skilled tattoo artists use a three-dimensional effect to create a nipple that looks like a natural nipple.
Tattoos can fade away with time and might need re-tattooing. The only disadvantage is that there will be no nipple projection through clothing.
Surgical Options For Nipple-Areola Reconstruction
In this procedure, the nipple and areola are reconstructed from your own body tissue. This procedure is done a few months later after your breast reconstruction surgery. A plastic surgeon will explain the pros and cons of the process before the surgery.
Nipple-Areola Reconstruction Using Skin Flap
The skin flap is a procedure where small skin flaps from your reconstructed breast are folded to build a mound and sutured together, which turn out to be a nipple. The skin is moulded to give an elevated appearance for the nipple on the breast mound. Skin, fat, or synthetic fillers might additionally use sometimes to project your nipple more erect.
Nipple-Areola Reconstruction with A Skin Graft
If the tissue is not enough to create a nipple and areola on the new breast, the surgeon might use a skin graft – the skin taken from other body parts. Usually, skin grafts are taken from your abdomen, thigh, buttocks or from your groin area where your legs and torso meet.
Autologous graft/nipple sharing
In this process, if the nipple of your unaffected breast is big enough, then a portion of it can be grafted onto your reconstructed breast. This surgical procedure is termed as autologous graft or nipple sharing.
Nipple reconstruction can be performed irrespective of the breast reconstruction procedure either with a flap or implant materials. However, there are some conditions that you need to consider before a nipple-areola reconstruction. For more information, consult our expert nipple-areola reconstruction specialist at Hyderabad plastic surgeons clinic.