How Long Does It Take for Nipple Reconstruction to be Ready for Tattooing?

2 weeks post nipple reconstruction after bi-lateral mastectomy, How long does it take to heal before tattooing can normally be done? How long does the pain last? I am having some shooting pain on out part of breast and some overall pain in both breasts. I did pull a muscle that I keep re-injuring before the nipples were done, I cannot pick up anything over a 1 lb without causing pain in the outer part of my breast. Can a MD help with this or what other type of doctor should I use? Ice vs heat?

Doctor Answers 3

Nipple Tattooing and timing.

Tattooing of the nipples and areolas typically occurs 6 to 8 weeks following reconstruction. The nipple reconstruction needs to heal before the tattoo is applied. As for muscle pain, evaluation by your surgeon is appropriate. You need to be careful with the application of heat or cold if the overlying skin is still numb from the mastectomy as you could injure your skin.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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Nipple recontruction and tattooing

Usually you want to allow the nipple to completely heal before tattooing it.  This may be 6 weeks or sometimes more.  The tattooing usually is not painful.  I can not recall an individual where I had to give local anesthetic for it.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


Seek the advise of your plastic surgeon who did the reconstruction to figure out the source of the pain, Your Family Physician may be of help too.

As for the tattooing, wait at least 3 months before tattooing

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.