Breast cancer has become ubiquitous touching the lives of women and their families throughout the United States and the world. Breast reconstruction has given many women the ability to restore their sense of femininity after mastectomy. While there are many options in breast reconstruction including breast implants and breast reconstruction using a woman's own tissue, all methods end with the reconstruction of the nipple and the areola (pigmented skin around the nipple).
This final step of reconstruction is an easy procedure at our Park Meadows office that can be completed in under an hour. The procedure is virtually painless and restores the circular pigment around the reconstructed nipple. Some women elect to choose a darker or lighter color than their original nipple areola color, making the experience a truly customizable procedure. The pigment is permanently placed using "tattooing" techniques. As with any tattoo, the pigments will tend to fade with time and acquiring the precise shade may require more than one pigmentation (tattoo) procedure.
This final phase of reconstruction, usually referred to as "nipple tattooing", often serves to transform the reconstruction into a breast that is truly your breast. This enables many survivors to lay their cancer burden down and move forward in life with restored femininity.
During the first week after tattooing, your tattoo will look red and irritated and the color may look much darker than you originally chose. Please be patient as the color will fade as the skin begins to heal.
Redness, weeping, and oozing are all normal. Pain should be minimal but you may take Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen according to package instructions if needed. Increasing pain or pain not relieved by the above medications should be reported to your doctor immediately.
Keep the tattooed area moist with Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment for 5 days. Apply as needed, 2 or 3 times per day and cover with gauze to protect your clothing. These items may be purchased at your local grocery or drug store.
After 5 days you may switch to A&D ointment. This is usually found in the baby department of any grocery store. Please make sure you purchase “ointment” and not “cream”. Apply this as needed 2-3 times per day until the wound is healed. You may still need to apply gauze to protect your clothing.
The tattoo area will slowly dry and peel. This is also normal and may take up to 3 weeks to heal completely.
You may resume all regular activity including eating, drinking and exercising immediately following your procedure.
You may shower immediately following your procedure but please refrain from soaking in water; including bath tubs, swimming pools and hot tubs for three (3) weeks.
Increasing pain, redness, red streaks, warmth, or fever should be reported to your doctor immediately.
Please make an appointment for a follow-up visit approximately 3 weeks after initial tattoo.
Our Office and Areola Pigmentation
Perhaps you have had your breast reconstruction elsewhere and are just looking to have tattooing completed; we can absolutely see you and determine a color that is appropriate for you. This procedure is done under local anesthetic and is done in our affiliated Park Meadows Outpatient Surgery center. We encourage you to come in for a consultation today. Call (720) 457-4471.