What Is 3D Nipple Tattooing? By Joseph M. Brown, MD, FACS on October 29, 2020

With breast cancer patients, it isn’t always possible to save the nipple. Medical advances have made nipple-sparing mastectomies more common, but some patients don’t have that option. The tissue directly beneath the nipple is a complex web of lactiferous ducts that connect to the mammary glands. When the tumor is too large or too close to the nipple, the surgeon may not feel one hundred percent certain that they can remove all cancerous tissue and leave the nipple intact. When this is the case, patients have three reconstructive options. One of which is 3D nipple tattooing.

What Is 3D Nipple Tattooing?

Below we go into what is 3D nipple tattooing and what other options you have. Depending on your goals, you can include one of these as part of your breast reconstruction Tampa.

No Nipple Reconstruction:

The patient may choose to have the breast reconstructed, but may opt not to have the nipple reconstructed in any way. Patients who make this choice can still enjoy all the benefits of a full-figure, but the lack of a visible nipple can make certain patients feel less comfortable with normal sexual behaviors.

3D Nipple Reconstruction:

If you’ve ever wanted to experience a tattoo but could never come up with an image you would want permanently on your body, then this is your chance. A 3D nipple reconstruction uses natural-looking pigments and artistic shading to trick the eye into seeing a three-dimensional nipple. This is a great option for women who want to look visible natural but would rather not have a more involved procedure.

4D Nipple Reconstruction:

This is the most complete form of reconstruction, as it requires a plastic surgeon to pull the skin of the breast together to create a nipple shape. The created nipple can be tattooed to mimic a natural color about three months after the initial surgery. This is the only nipple restoration that will rebuild the actual architecture of a nipple, but you will likely not have the same level of sensation.

Given that a three-dimensional nipple tattoo reads very realistically, many patients opt for the simpler procedure. Women who have had their nipples rendered by a talented tattoo artist tend to feel more feminine and natural after the process is over. However, tattooing isn’t for everyone, as it can be quite uncomfortable, so keep that it mind before committing to the process.

Other Nipple Procedures to Keep in Mind

If you were lucky enough to have a nipple-sparing mastectomy, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Reconstruction can still be a taxing experience, and your nipple may still need work to match the reconstructed breasts. Women who have had children or just a bit older may notice that their nipples don’t necessarily make sense with their new, perky breasts. For some of these patients, nipple surgery Tampa is the logical next step.

Nipple reduction surgery works by directly addressing the disconnect between the shape of the nipple and the shape of the breast. Therefore, the procedure is slightly different for each patient. Fortunately, your local board-certified plastic surgeon is more than capable of tackling practically every issue. Your nipples may be overly long due to breastfeeding, too wide due to age, or asymmetric due to your mastectomy and reconstruction. Dr. Joseph M. Brown will evaluate your case and help you put together a plan that will work.

Breast cancer is hard enough on your body. The long-term mental and emotional side effects are just icing on a very bad cake, so don’t hesitate to take meaningful action. If nipple reconstruction or nipple reduction will help you feel more like yourself again, then reach out to a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss what options are available to you. You can always choose to wait, but you deserve to know what choices you actually have.

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Dr. Joseph Brown

Plastic Surgery

A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Joseph M. Brown strives to provide patients with transformative, yet natural results in a safe and comfortable environment. When you choose him as your provider, he will develop a patient-doctor relationship based on honesty, trust, and a clear understanding of a common goal. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
  • Florida Medical Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons

To get started, request an appointment using our form or call (813) 258-2425.

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