Areola tattooing is a process in which a woman’s areola can be recreated to match or mimic the darker pigmented area of the areola, the circular area of skin that surrounds a woman’s nipple. This procedure is typically performed after breast reconstruction, and if the patient has elected to do so, after nipple reconstruction.
This is usually described by women as a “finishing touch” procedure for women who have lost one or both nipples through surgery or trauma. By using advanced tattooing techniques, the appearance of the nipple can be restored. For some women, this can help them regain a sense of femininity and normalcy in the same way that breast reconstruction can. After successful areola tattooing, the goal is for the recreated nipple to look realistic and match the existing areola or the look of the nipples and areolas prior to mastectomy surgery.
In your consultation at our South Denver office, you may wish to bring photos of how your nipple(s) previously looked. Along with a clear explanation of your goals, this will help us plan for your procedure. During the consultation, we will be sure to explain how areola tattooing works and how you can care for your skin as you heal.
Areola tattooing is completed in a process very similar to a traditional tattoo. For the treatment, a small handpiece will be placed on the surface of your skin.
The handpiece holds the pigment for the recreated nipple. As it passes over your skin, the handpiece will inject small amounts of the micro pigment beneath the surface of your skin. It will do this in a rapid motion, delivering small amounts of the pigment several hundred times per minute.
You will leave our office with a surgical dressing covering the tattoo site. You may experience some redness on and around the recreated areola, but this will be a short-lived side effect. Following your treatment, the pigment may appear darker than you anticipated, but it will fade substantially as you heal.
Anesthesia is not necessary for areola tattooing. In some cases, a topical anesthetic may be offered if you are nervous about discomfort. An ice pack applied to the treatment site can also have a soothing effect.
Areola tattooing is a relatively quick procedure. A single nipple can often be completed within a few hours, but some treatments take longer.
The tattoo pigments used for your areola tattooing treatment are long-lasting, but that does not mean they will last forever. If fading occurs, you may wish to return to our office for follow-up treatment. The process for touch-ups will be similar to the initial treatment, but may be shorter.
Since 2001, Revalla Plastic Surgery of South Denver has been providing patients with excellent, individualized cosmetic surgery results. We encourage you to call us about an appointment. Our office phone number is 720-283-2500 or you can contact us online. We can help you determine if you are a good candidate for areola tattooing.