Complete the Breast Reconstruction Process With Areola Tattooing in Austin

A breast cancer survivor may undergo breast reconstruction surgery and still not feel whole due to a lack of nipples and/or areolas on the front of the breast. If this sounds like you, the Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery medical tattooing team can help put the finishing touch on your reconstruction, whether you have implants, a living tissue reconstruction, or a combination of the two. For many patients, areola tattooing can feel like the final piece of the puzzle after completing treatment for breast cancer.

What Is an Areola Tattoo?

An areola tattoo is a way to construct a nipple and/or areola on a reconstructed breast for an entirely natural appearance. Many women are surprised by how much the lack of an areola can affect self-confidence, feelings of health, and overall quality of life. Fortunately, patients can now restore this portion of the breast with a natural-looking and beautiful tattoo. Our certified medical tattooists use similar techniques to those of traditional tattoo artists, but they take additional care in blending and feathering the pigment to create a photo-realistic result. Areola tattooing is not restricted to women who have had non-nipple-sparing mastectomies; even if you were able to preserve your nipples and areola during the breast reconstruction process, you may have surgical scars that can be visually corrected with a tattoo to create areolas that are symmetrical and consistent in color.

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Areola Tattooing Before & After

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Surgical Nipple Reconstruction With Areola Tattooing

If you had surgical nipple reconstruction, you may choose areola tattooing in Austin, TX with our team to complete your look. One of our expert reconstructive surgeons may perform nipple creation at the time of your breast reconstruction, using skin and tissue from the top of the mound of the newly constructed breast to create a protruding nipple. After you’ve healed from surgery, you can then have areola tattooing performed to bring pigment to the reconstructed nipple and surrounding skin.

Nipple-Areola Simulation

This procedure is performed for women who have undergone breast reconstruction without surgical nipple reconstruction and would like to add a nipple and areola to their new breast(s). If both breasts require simulation, the medical tattooist will work with you to develop a blend of pigment you are satisfied with. It might be similar to the color of your areola before mastectomy, or it could be a different tone, depending on your preferences. If just one breast was affected, the tattooist will mix a pigment that matches your native areola. Tattooing that simulates the protrusion of a nipple is called three-dimensional or “3D” areola tattooing.

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Areola Tattooing Recovery and Aftercare

Areola tattooing aftercare is relatively simple. When your tattooing session is over, your artist will place non-stick pads over the areolas to protect them as they heal. You will be instructed to apply a thin layer of A&D ointment twice a day for the first two days. During this time, it’s also best to avoid strenuous exercise that could cause heavy sweating or friction on the breasts. Hot tubs, Jacuzzis, and swimming pools should be avoided for a week, and you should not go into the ocean for at least two weeks.

The color of your areolas will likely be darker than you want at first; rest assured that this is normal, and the color will fade to a more natural look over the first four to six weeks. Flaking is also common in the first three to five days after your procedure and should not cause concern. If you have any significant pain, redness, swelling, or oozing around the areola, you should contact our office right away to schedule an assessment, as these symptoms could indicate an infection.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Areola Tattooing?

Women who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis could be good candidates for areola tattooing at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. You will need to wait until you are fully healed from your reconstructive surgery before pursuing areola tattooing. For most patients, this is about three to four months after surgery. If you want tattooing to camouflage a scar on the breast or areola, you may need to wait up to six months to avoid the risk of additional scarring. However, areola tattooing can be done at any point after the healing process is complete. Even if your reconstruction surgery occurred years ago, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at our office to find out if an areola tattoo is the right choice for you.

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Why Choose Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for Areola Tattooing in Austin?

At Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, our team features several expert surgeons specializing in breast reconstruction procedures. We know that after undergoing breast cancer surgery, many women struggle with self-confidence and no longer feel that their appearance is feminine enough. Our award-winning, highly respected surgeons take pride in helping these women feel whole once again so that they can successfully move forward in their recovery while feeling great about the way they look. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation with one of our reconstructive surgeons, give our office a call today.

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