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Nipple reconstruction...Is it worth it???

kathie9
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2002

I'm looking for anyone who has had this done. My mastectomy was August 9, 2001 with an combination expander-implant inserted the same day. I talked to the plastic surgeon about nipple re-construction and am considering having it done. At the same time, he will finally remove the port for the implant. He uses a "modified star" technique instead of a skin graft for the re-construction of the nipple. Any input would be most helpful.

melm
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2001

Yes, yes, yes! My bilateral was done Dec. 2000 with expanders. July 2001, replaced expanders with implants. October 2001, tissue was taken from my abdomen to create the nipples and I just finished with the color tatoos. It was extra surgery that was a little painful, but nothing compared to the previous surgeries. I am very pleased with the results. I thought about not having the nipples done but I decided that I wanted complete restoration. They look so natural! I would definitely recommend it. What is the modified star technique??

Mel in Arkansas

kathie9
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi Mel....from what the Dr. told me the modified star technique is not a graft from anywhere else but he actually uses the breast tissue, makes some sort of star incision and twists the skin into a nipple. Doesn't sound too appealing does it. I'm having the right side done. Sure hope the Dr. can see where it will eventually fall down to so I'm not lopsided. The tattoo will be another decision later. Thanks for the vote of confidence. God bless. Kathie

comom
Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Kathie,
I had the modified star technique done back in March. At first I was horrified because I thought I was going to look like my 'high beams' were always on. after several months they have calmed down and are looking great. I have not had the tatooing done. I am glad I went ahead with the surgery. There is absolutely no pain. The only inconvenience is you have to wear a foam ring around the new nipple for 10 days. Since I had both of mine done in the cold weather, I was able to wear bulky sweaters to hide the foam rings. This time of year might be a little more challenging to conceal. Please discuss with your doctor the possibity of the procedure failing. I have a friend who had the same procedure and after 3-4 months, her new nipples had completely disappeared.
Good luck!
Trina

kathie9
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2002

Thanks Trina...Glad to hear you are happy with having this done. I'm only having one done and I gues I'm leary of how they might match up. I have one relatively small breast left that of course is a bit saggy and one round firm one. Dr. did give me all the negatives but did not mention the possibility of it disappearing. I will probably go through with the procedure. the foam rings don't sound like much fun. God Bless and thanks.

jamac
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2002

Hi Kathie,
I had the same procedure 3 weeks ago. I am so happy with the results so far. I'm still protecting them but what a difference! I would definitely encourage you to consider it. Mine are still rather prominent but they sure make me look more natural - they're a little tender still especially with activity. Good luck. Julie

kathie9
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi Julie...I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm only having one done. After this when I go through the supermarket in the refrigerated aisles, at least I'll match. God bless.

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Kathie. I had the same procedure done to my breast. Initially, it was very large but it does shrink some. I've had 3 procedures to make it smaller and 1 to make it stick out more,which really didn't work. Mine is now almost 2 years old. I'm happy with it but it is definitely does not stick out as much as the other side. At least I have a breast! Good luck! I'm sure you'll be happy with the results. HUGS!! Cathy

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