• Would anyone be willing to share about their nipple reconstruction experience?

    Asked by Momofivedcisbc on Friday, December 28, 2012

    Would anyone be willing to share about their nipple reconstruction experience?

    Mine is happening Wednesday January 2, 2013 and I am not sure what to expect. I have already had DIEP flap reconstruction. This is phase 2.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I will be willing to share why I chose NOT to have nipple reconstruction.
      First, I did not want to go through another surgery. I had a bilateral mastectomy in February with immediate reconstruction with implants. My left implant pulled away from the chest wall and I needed to have surgery to replace it in November.
      Secondly, no reconstructed nipples I have seen really look that good, even after getting the areola tattoo. And since not having nipples doesn't bother me, I didn't want to get them reconstructed and not look great.
      Thirdly, I considered nipple and areola tattooing (check out Amy Black tattoos for some samples). However, knowing that implants have a shelf life and not wanting to have a surgeon cut through my nipple tattoo, I decided against that as well.
      I finally made the choice to purchase prosthetic nipples and although I am happy with the generic ones I purchased from myreforma.com, I will be ordering custom ones soon from nippleprosthetics.com. The custom ones look incredibly life like and stay on for weeks at a time with the adhesive that comes with it.
      While obviously all surgeries and such are personal decisions, I am happy with my reconstructed breasts (pictures on my blog - nancebeth.blogspot.com) and am comfortable without nipples.

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Good luck to you :)
      I didn't have the "finishing touches".....due to radiation, I couldn't do anything other than tattoos, but my PS didn't recommended it for me......I'm okay with nothing.....in clothes I look like a small chested woman (I had bilat and have 200cc mid profile implants)....naked, well thats a different story, but how often do I stand in the mirror staring at myself!!!! Don't have to worry about "headlamps"....

      over 7 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar

      I had nipple reconstruction last year after a unilateral mastectomy. At the same time, I had the other side lifted. 4 months later I had the original implant replaced for symmetry. The nipple that was constructed is hardly noticeable and was too high after the replacement. Last week I had the other side relifted and fat grafted over the implant to reshape. In 6 weeks or so I will be getting a nipple tattoo.

      I really debated about having this last surgery (5th total in 1 1/2 years starting with a lumpectomy). On one hand I didn't want more surgery. On the other hand, I thought since I'd gone through so much, what's one more to have nice looking breast. I'm not healed yet, so I don't know if this last one made much of a difference. But now I know I've done all I can (and will) to create symmetry. With a bra on, I look much better than I did before cancer. I even was able to wear a cocktail dress without a bra and looked nice. I feel I deserve something out of this awful disease. I would never have considered a "boob" job before.

      I found that with a unilateral, symmetry is very hard to achieve, especially at my age. I didn't realize how much I sagged until the mastectomy. If I had to do it over, I would not have had the nipple reconstructed and just had a 3-d tattoo. Otherwise, no regrets with any of the surgeries.

      BTW-if my implant needs replacing again, the incision will be underneath the breast like the first replacement. I didn't have the typical mastectomy incision-across the breast. Everything was done through the nipple area with a purse string stich. So they won't be cutting through the nipple area again.

      Good luck with your decision!

      over 7 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme (Best Answer!)

      I had the nipples "put on" when the implants were replaced, so it wasn't an extra surgery (I did have an extra surgery after that, since I had bleeding in one of the implants and it had to,be replaced). I had a cast type thing protecting the nipples, for a week I think. Then I had to protect them with bandages with a hole cut into them. At first the nipples are humongous, I was like holy s Batman! But they do shrink. I must say that having nipples makes me feel better emotionally, looking in the mirror is not as painful as it was when I just had "bags". They're not perfect, but a darn site better than not having them. I had the tats done after, 6 weeks post I think.

      Compared to all else you've been through this will be a walk in the park.

      over 7 years ago
    • Momofivedcisbc's Avatar

      Thank you all for responding to my question. The nipple reconstruction went well. There was no pain "zero" it was awesome. It did not feel like a surgery because I was awake it felt more like getting stitches. I love my plastic surgeon and her staff, they were so caring and compassionate. We talked for an hour during the procedure. Even an intern came in to learn. The worse part is no shower or exercise for two weeks.....bummer. I was just starting to exercise and sweat and lose weight and feel better. Now my job is to heal and take it easy again Phase 2 complete. Does anyone have advice on how to heal and take it easy? Not my normal personality? Does anyone have advice about plastic tape, causing itching, and how to live with it until the first dressing and gauze can get removed? You guys are the best......thanks again..

      over 7 years ago

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