nipple reconstruction surgery

docholly Member Posts: 16
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
On the scale of things, this is a VERY trivial matter....but, have any of you had nipple reconstruction surgery and if so, was it painful and was it worth it?

I had bilateral TRAMs in 2/05 and was told to make an appointment for nipple reconstruction (using skin from the inside of the thigh) over the summer. I have no desire to go through another operation but I am self conscious of my "funny looking breasts" in places like the swimming pool locker room and the gym. I don't consider myself a vain person, but part of me wants to look "normal" again.

Any thoughts?


  • Future
    Future Member Posts: 133 Member
    I am going through reconstruction but not at the nipple reconstruction phase. From what my surgeon says, not that bad, he'll do it in his minor surgery room and we've even discussed what music he'll play. I understand what you say about the locker room, my reconstruction has been slowed down because an expander on one side became infected and I had to have it removed so I am quite lopsided. I was surprised how self conscious I felt when I first went back to the gym.
  • wingingit
    wingingit Member Posts: 48
    I went through nipple reconstruction about 7 mos. following free TRAM. The plastic surgeon formed the nipple from tissue within the reconstructed breast. I felt absolutely nothing since I have no feeling in that breast anyway. It was strange to be awake during that procedure in the office's surgery room, which required no anesthesia at all. I am glad I did it. I cannot speak for the pain which may result in a case where the skin is taken from the thigh. My reconstructed nipple looked huge to begin with but he assured me it would shrink down to barely a nub which would match my natural one. He was right! About 6 wks later I had the areola tattooed. You will have the advantage of having two done at the same time and therefore a matching pair! My tattoo is slightly larger and not that all great a match in color to my natural one but it is certainly better than none at all and enough to make me feel normal again. I hope things go well for you!
  • mc2001
    mc2001 Member Posts: 343
    Hello there,
    This message is not only fory docholly, but for all the ladies that feel self conscious or "vain" about wanting to have "normal" looking breasts. The fact of the matter is that all of you who have had breasts removed have suffered not only physically through treatment and surgery... but have suffered emotional trauma as well. This is not a "trivial" matter but a very real one. It is something that those of us who have not had a mastectomy can appreciate. All of you have been through so much and you deserve to have a *good* operation that hopefully can help your self image, esteem, confidence, and whatever else. Just remember, you are all *real* women... probably more woman than those who *seem* to be the perfect shape and height, etc! I say, dont feel bad or vain about this procedure. You all are FAR from being vain! You deserve this procedure! Good luck and God bless.
    -Michael (leukemia survivor)
  • docholly
    docholly Member Posts: 16
    Thanks to all of you for your helpful, supportive feedback. I really appreciate it.

  • jake10
    jake10 Member Posts: 202
    I had mine done about 18 months after the reconstruction. My surgeon also used skin on my reconstructed breast (the inner thigh thing sounds painful). good results, no pain and I didn't require anethesia for it only a litte lidocaine at the site. I also had my aroela tatood. Looks remarkable, same color and shape as my real one on the other side. Good Luck, Beth