What is Nipple Reconstruction?
An aesthetically pleasing bustline after breast and nipple reconstruction can give you a renewed sense of self. You deserve to have your breast reconstruction end with feminine-appearing breasts with a nipple/areola complex. Many of our patients have expressed to our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Pierre Chevray, that seeing their breasts with nipples and areolas made a huge impact on their self-esteem, body image, and feeling more like herself pre-mastectomy. At Chevray Plastic Surgery, we whole-heartedly want the best for our patients, especially our breast cancer survivors journeying through surgery and surgery to rebuild her breasts. Dr. Chevray is passionate about performing all types of breast reconstructive surgeries. Nipple reconstruction is no different. He strives to recreate your nipples to look as realistic as possible. He also recommends that you take the extra step of cosmetic tattooing on the nipple/areola complex for the right coloring of your skin.
If you choose not to have nipple reconstructive surgery, that is okay, too. You may consider having a 3-D nipple tattoo in its place. Come to our practice in Houston, TX on the campus of Houston Methodist Hospital for a consultation. Please call our friendly patient care coordinator to set up your appointment.
"Dr Chevray did an amazing job on my abdominoplasty. I could not believe the difference it made, as I have been carrying around ‘extra’ tummy weight for years. Dr Chevray was a blessing to me. Also he has the best team with Patrick and Carol. They all treated me as if I was there one and only patient. It made me feel very special. Highly recommend Dr Chevray!"- M. / RealSelf / Mar 24, 2020
"I saw Dr Chevray for breast reconstruction. I highly recommend him. Patrick and Carol are awesome. It was a very scary time for me and they made me feel special. I had a few bumps during recovery but he and his staff were always available to me. I can not express how thankful I am for this wonderful team."- W.B. / Facebook / Jan 31, 2020
"Dr Chevray did an amazing job on my abdominoplasty. I could not believe the difference it made, as I have been carrying around ‘extra’ tummy weight for years. Dr Chevray was a blessing to me. Also he has the best team with Patrick and Carol. They all treated me as if I was there one and only patient. It made me feel very special. Highly recommend Dr Chevray!"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Mar 23, 2020
"I saw Dr Chevray for breast reconstruction after mastectomy. He is kind, compassionate and very caring. His PA Patrick and nurse Carol are fantastic. They were always available for me at any time during my recovery. Words can not express how thankful I am for this team. I would highly recommend him if you ever need top notch care for reconstructive surgery."- W.B. / Healthgrades / Feb 01, 2020
"Wonderful Caring Team - Dr Chevray, Patrick and Carol were all wonderful, sympathetic and caring. All my questions were answered, they gave me plenty of time and I am very pleased with my results. After my cancer they were very quick to respond and made sure I understood everything that was happening."- J. / RealSelf / Jan 31, 2020
Am I a candidate for nipple reconstruction?
If you would like to be considered for nipple reconstruction, you will need to have a consultation with Dr. Chevray. We accept patients who did not have Dr. Chevray as their original breast reconstruction surgeon, and he will revise another surgeon's work. In your consultation, Dr. Chevray will provide you with an examination and ask about your medical history. He will make recommendations to you as to how your nipples can be reconstructed or revised.
Nipple Reconstruction TechniqueS
Nipple reconstruction is generally performed several months after a breast reconstruction as an outpatient procedure. This surgery is to construct the nipple-areolar complex. Precisely using your own skin, he can create your nipples by building up the skin. The natural colors of the nipples and areolas can be created with cosmetic tattooing in flesh tones.
There are also nonsurgical ways to give each breast a nipple with 3-D nipple tattooing. There is no projection to the nipple, but it gives the breasts visual nipples with art. We can put you in touch with a cosmetic tattoo artist who specializes in these techniques.
After Your Nipple Reconstruction
In recovery, your surgical healing time can vary based on the surgeries you had for nipple reconstruction. We will give you full instructions on how to care for your nipples regardless of technique. Except in the shower, you will be required to wear a foam nipple pad in your bra all the time until Dr. Chevray tells you it is okay to discontinue. He will also release you to go back to work and when to exercise, which is based on the type of reconstruction you had on your breasts. If you need to call us and ask questions about your nipple reconstruction, we will be available for you to call for assistance.
Nipple Reconstruction FAQs
Does insurance cover nipple reconstruction?
If you have commercial insurance, then the Women's Health and Cancer Act of 1998 states that you cannot be denied coverage for surgeries needed in reconstructing the breast after a mastectomy. If you have insurance, someone from Chevray Plastic Surgery will help you navigate your coverage and filling out the needed paperwork for your insurance claims.
Will I have to stay in the hospital for nipple reconstruction?
Dr. Chevray will set up a surgery timeline for you and include if you will need an inpatient stay after your surgery. The nipple and areola reconstruction can be performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. It is up to your medical team here at Chevray Plastic Surgery to make the call if you need to be monitored after this type of reconstruction.
Will my nipples have feelings?
Unfortunately, you will not have sensation in your nipples as you did before the mastectomy and breast reconstruction. You may qualify for breast resensation surgery, depending on the type of breast reconstruction performed for you. At this time, breast resensation surgery can only be performed if you had a flap-based procedure with autologous tissues, such as the DIEP flap. Breast implant-based reconstructions will enhance the aesthetics of your breasts to look more feminine and with the normal features of the female breasts, but sensations will be minimal to none.
Your Next Steps in Recovery
In this secondary surgery after breast reconstruction, your nipple reconstruction will change the aesthetics of your breasts for the better. Call us for info on how to start the process for a nipple reconstruction with Dr. Chevray. We understand that you want your breasts to appear more feminine with recreated nipple/areola features. Our medical staff at Chevray Plastic Surgery in Houston, TX can guide you in the next steps of your reconstruction journey.