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Nipple reconstuction

Posts: 24
Joined: May 2002

Hi. I am a new visitor to this group - wish I had found you earlier in my treatment. I have had bil mastectomies with expander/implants and am now planning and gathering info about nipple reconstruction with my plastic surgeon. Any advice or suggestions from anyone who has had this surgery? So far my surgeries have gone well and I am pleased with my sesults although I'll be very happy to have all the reconstruction phases complete. I had the mastectomies for agressive multifocal DCIS (negative nodes) with immediate reconstruction in 11/2001. Thanks so much and God bless.

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

We too are glad that you found us. We try and help each other along the way. As you can see there is quite a community of women all willing to try and make things easier for others who have to travel the same road from which we have come. I didn't find this site till 4 years into my survival and I am very grateful for my time here with everyone. I too hope you find what it is you need this next leg of your treatments.
Be good to yourself,

Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi and Welcome,

I had my nipple reconstruction almost 9 years ago. A lot has probably changed since then, but that part was a piece of cake. My plastic surgeon took the skin from my inner thigh, so that was probably the longest to heal. Had to be very careful of the sun on that scar for awhile. I opted not to have the tattoo, but if I was doing it over, I would go ahead and have it done. I was just so glad to have all the surgeries behind me, that I figured I would stop there. It just puts the finishing touches on everything! Good luck and let us know how things turn out. We are all here for you.

God Bless,

Posts: 321
Joined: May 2002

Welcome to this site. I am new myself.Had Tram Flap Reconstruction 1999, then the nipple,then the tatoo. Nipple a piece of cake. My surgeon did a nice procedure right on the reconstructed breast itself, kind of a zig-zag cut. Pretty neat. Then the tatoo. That has faded somewhat. Tatoo is not done like in a tatoo parlor, a different dye is used, it is not perfect but I like the end result. Go for it. Best wishes. Emmi

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Emmi! I also had my nipple reconstructed from the breast tissue itself. I've had to have it revised several times. Has your nipple recessed into the breast(flattened out at all? Has it gotten smaller?) I'm happy with my results but the nipple has definitely flattened out alot.My tatoo has also faded but I'm not concerned with that. Noone else knows! Take care. HUGS!! Cathy

Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi: I had nipple reconstruction last fall after mastectomy, tramflap, and reduction of reconstructed breast. My dr.used the same procedure using the breast tissue and then the tatoo. My nipple has flattened out also, so I guess it must be common. I don't think I'll have anything else done as its been a longgggg year. Some days I feel great and then for no reason I feel very depressed. I'm on zoloft for hot flashes, so you would think it would help my mood swings as well. It sure has been a learning experience.Thanks to everyone for sharing,it helps to know others understand. Wendy

Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi. Had same dx as you with bil mastectomies on 10/19. I had the nipple reconstruction two months ago. Havent had tatooing yet. My doc made the nipples very exaggerated because they will flatten out over time. The thinner the skin, the more chance the nipples will flatten out. I know of one gal who's reconstructed nipples flattened out completely. Be aware that the procedure can fail over time. My Doc said if the havent flattened out after three months they probably will remain. Mine are looking fairly normal and have stayed the same for at least a month. Good luck and congrat's on almost being done!! I can't wait to get the tatooing and be finished!!! Almost there...

Posts: 24
Joined: May 2002

Congrats to you as well! It's SO good to see a little light at the end of the tunnel of reconstruction. Thanks for the input. I'll ask my doc about exaggerating the nipples to start. He hasn't mentioned it and I wouldn't have thought to ask. Maybe that's standard procedure. When will you have your tattooing? My "breasted" friends don't quite understand my feelings about nipple reconstruction, but I've found that although I can look at my scars and new breasts and realize that the rebuilt nipples will have no sensation, I seem to need a "home" for my nipple memories. I guess it's kind of like being haunted by good ghosts. Take care. Julie

Posts: 9
Joined: May 2002


If you can please tell me all about it. I'm due for the same procedure shortly mastectomy with reconstruction, only in 1 breast. Did u have one or two done. Some say have both, god Bless,

Posts: 24
Joined: May 2002

Hi bev983,
I had both breasts removed with expander/implants inserted at the time of my mastectomies. When I went home from the hospital, I had the mastectomy wounds, 2 drains on each side and a port that felt like a knob under the skin to fill the expanders under each arm... but I also could tell that my surgeon had put a little fluid in my implants so I had a beginning to my new breasts. That made things easier to bear. When is your surgery? Are your having immediate reconstruction? Do you know what type of reconstruction - implants or TRAM or other? I'll be happy to share my experience if you wish. It's a long haul but you can do it- look for one bright spot to focus on at a time. It can all be very overwhelming and there are days when we just get through hanging on by our fingernails. I'd encourage you to ask for support, help and information from every resource you have available. Hope to hear from you... Julie

Posts: 317
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi and welcome! Unfortunately, I can't help with reconstruction questions, but just wanted you to know you'll find a lot of support here. Best wishes...you're almost to the end of the journey!! YEA!!! Cyndi

lizaboy's picture
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi I am interested to hear how you get on. I had a right breast mastectomy and TRAM flap reconstruction done on 03/27/02. My surgeon and I have not discussed nipple reconstruction yet but I know it will come up. I read one article about a woman who could not face any more surgery and had a butterfly tattooed on instead! KInd of know how she felt.
Please let me know how you get on
Love Liza.

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