3D Nipple Tattooing & Nipple Reconstruction

It all started when...

We realized "medical grade tattoos" just weren't good enough. What resulted is a tattoo artist's expertise added to the breast reconstruction journey.  Watch his video below, or click here to see pictures and learn more about Jeff Paetzold and his nipple tattoo services at the Chicago Breast Center.

nipple reconstruction options

Local flap reconstruction

Skin from the breast can be lifted to create the nipple.  This skin creates a nipple mound with two small scars off to each side.  Oftentimes, this scar can be planned in the same place as your mastectomy scar.  Tattooing after nipple reconstruction will also help camouflage this portion of the scar

Skin grafting

A skin graft from a different part of the body can be used to recreate the nipple.  This leaves a scar at the donor site, so is not our preferred method for reconstruction, but can be beneficial in some cases.

Nipple autograft

This procedure is an option if you have retained your native nipple areola complex on your opposite breast, and your native nipple has adequate volume.  Nipple tissue from the native side can be harvested and grafted to your reconstructed breast.  This reduces the volume of your native nipple but does not leave any perceivable scar.  The nipple tissue graft has the color and texture of your native nipple, so offers a great option for matching.  This would then be surrounded by a tattoo to recreate the areola.  

Alternative options

 If you prefer to avoid surgical nipple reconstruction or nipple reconstruction is not an option for you due to the health of your reconstruction, there are alternative options:

3D Tattoo

A 3D tattoo can be performed to create the appearance of a projecting nipple without one actually being reconstructed.  This is most frequently recommended in patients who have had radiation therapy as it involves less risk for healing problems.  During your appointment, desired color and size will be determined, and the nipple and areola will be tattooed at the same time to create the appearance of a projecting nipple mound.

Temporary 3-D areola tattoos

 RubOnNipples.comThese temporary tattoos come in multiple colors, usually last around 2 weeks, and can be removed with rubbing alcohol.  They are shaded to give them a three dimensional appearance.
 NipstickTemporary tattoos that come in multiple colors
Prosthetic Nipples- Naturallyimpressive.com Offers custom crafted nipple-areola made from high quality skin safe silicone.  These can be worn during and after breast reconstruction, and stay in place during normal daily activities, workouts, intimacy, bathing, and even swimming.  Naturally Impressive also offers matching to your natural nipple.