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Nipple Reconstruction

Following breast cancer and mastectomy, many patients can feel a sense of loss because the appearance and structure of their breasts are not the same as it was before the diagnosis. Nipple reconstruction helps to achieve a more natural look to the restored breast, which is subdermal pigmentation, also called nipple tattooing. After breast reconstruction surgery, patients can add color to the area of the breast mound where a nipple once was to have a more natural appearance and restore their confidence.

At Arkansas Plastic Surgery, we provide nipple tattooing regularly for patients who want to improve the appearance of breasts following mastectomy.

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Restoration procedures can help the patient feel more confident in themselves and back to normal because the look and shape of their breast appears familiar. Once breast reconstruction is complete and the breast mound is restored following surgery, the pigmentation procedure is a fairly simple way to complete the look of the new breast mound.

Subdermal pigmentation is ideal for many candidates, including those who have experienced the following:

  • Mastectomy following a cancer diagnosis
  • Enlarged, misshapen, or inverted nipples due to pregnancy
  • Change in shape or color of the breast due to aging or trauma

Our expert staff understands what patients are going through and works with you to find the right pigmentation and size for your nipple tattoo. They have extensive experience in providing this procedure for our breast reconstruction patients using the best methods subdermal pigmentation has to offer.


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Reconstruction of the nipple after mastectomies can be done with specialized techniques to create a nipple and areola. Nipple correction and reconstruction surgery are both done as an outpatient surgery and general anesthesia will be used for your comfort and safety.

The pigmentation procedure is done in the office and normally takes up to two hours. Patients who have had nipple reconstruction with surgery can have color added to the area 3 months after surgery. Patients who do not wish to have nipple reconstruction can have a 3D tattoo. Our experienced cosmetic surgeons, Dr. David Bauer and Dr. Zachary Young, can discuss with you which procedure is best for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Nipple Reconstruction.

Will getting a nipple tattoo hurt?

Many mastectomy patients have diminished sensation after their procedure, so they will often only feel vibrations and pressure. Some patients who are farther out from their procedure may have more sensation and may need mild pain medication to make the procedure more comfortable.

How long will it take to create the tattoo?

Creating a nipple tattoo takes up to two hours and is done in the office.

How long will the tattoo(s) take to heal?

Tattoos can take anywhere from five days to a few weeks to heal depending on if the skin is thin or has less blood supply.

How does the color of the tattoo change over time?

The color of the tattoo may be darker and redder at first due to the skin’s reaction for the application of the tattoo. Once the tattoo heals, the tattoo will lighten slightly. After one to two months, it should not change in color anymore.

Is nipple reconstruction covered by insurance? Is nipple tattooing covered?

Most insurance companies do cover nipple reconstruction and nipple tattooing procedures.


It is important to choose an experienced plastic surgeon to perform your breast procedure. For over 20 years, Arkansas Plastic Surgery has served the central Arkansas region. You can trust us to provide you with the natural and long-lasting results you’re looking for. Begin your breast surgery discussion today!


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