Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction can give you back the shape, volume, and profile of one or both breasts, but what about the nipple and areola? Unless you’ve undergone nipple-sparing mastectomy, your reconstructed breast or breasts will be missing the nipple/areola. Dr. Malamet is an expert at nipple and areola reconstruction.
What is nipple and areola reconstruction?
To recreate the nipple and areola, Dr. Malamet uses a variety of advanced techniques to create the appearance of a nipple. Obviously, creating an exact replica of a natural nipple is impossible. And there is no way the artificial nipple he creates will have the same function or sensation as a natural nipple. But Dr. Malamet’s expertise will return the aesthetic appearance of the breasts.
How is nipple and areola reconstruction done?
The options and choices involved in this reconstruction depend wholly on the patient’s individual situation. If the patient has had a single mastectomy, Dr. Malamet may be able to harvest a portion of the natural nipple to assist in creating balance and symmetry. There is risk in this method, however, because by transferring breast tissue it could potentially form a new cancer in the reconstructed breast.
When one or both nipples need to be created, Dr. Malamet uses a few different techniques. These include skin grafts, tattoos, CV flap, and double opposing flaps. Grafts from the labia have been used in the past, but Dr. Malamet avoids this method, as it leaves undesirable scarring. Plus, the graft can be hair bearing. He generally prefers one of the flap methods to recreate the nipple, combining it with tattooing to finish out the areola.
Nipple and areola reconstruction is highly individualized and can offer amazing results for patients following breast reconstruction. If you have any questions about this procedure, please call us, 818-380-3130.