Are There Nipple Implants for Breast Reconstruction?

Are there nipple implants or cohesive gel implants (formed) that are made with a shape that could create a more normal looking breast/nipple? It would seem better to have a whole breast shape with a protruded areola and nipple bump for people who are undergoing total breast reconstruction.

Doctor Answers (17)

Your own tissue best for nipple reconstruction


The best way to reconstruct a nipple is to use your own tissue to create the projection. This will give the most natural look. Some patients can supplement this with restylane to give more projection if some is lost. I usually will add a skin graft ato create the areola and tattoo it for color match to the other side.

As far as shaped implants, they are not available in the USA for routine use at this time.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Nipple reconstruction


There are numerous ways to create a new nipple. Usually a local flap is used to create the nipple projection, often after the skin to be used and the new areola is tattooed for color as it is easier to tattoo the skin flat than when standing as the new nipple. The problem is maintaining the nipple project as it tends to shrink and flatten over time. Various materials can and have been used to augment or maintain this projection from fat grafts, dermal graft, alloderm, cartilage and even small implants. You can even do nipple-sharing by taking half of the good nipple if it is large, and using it as a graft.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Nipple Reconstruction After Breast Cancer


Nipple Reconstruction is an art and is typically performed after breast reconstruction. There are a myriad of techniques to reconstruct the nipple, including local flaps and subcutaneous cartilage placement.

These techniques are surgeon dependent. In general, the nipple resumes a normal shape and size but lacks the sensation of a normal nipple.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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Nipple Reconstruction


With advancements in modern medicine and technology there are several techniques for nipple/ areola reconstruction. Consult with an EXPERIENCED board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation and recommendation. Best wishes!

Christine Sullivan, MD
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Nipple reconstruction


Nipple reconstruction is performed on the breast mound with local flaps after the implant or autologous tissue reconstruction has healed.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
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Nipple reconstruction


The best technique for nipple reconstruction is to use the patient's own tissue as a flap (C-V flap or others).

The key is over-correction, as the size will get smaller with time. Adding a small piece of alloderm or fat graft to the nipple could enhance the volume and prevent further resorption.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Nipple implants

Hi there,
I think your question is great.  As best I know there is no nipple  projections on breast implants.  It would be hard to get enough projection through the skin.  If it poked up too much it would likely erode the skin.
Typically nipple reconstruction is done with your own skin.  Flaps of skin are elevated and turned on themselves.  In order to create lasting elevations I usually sit this on a platform of deepithelialized skin.  There are other tricks we use to help things look natural and maintain their projections.  
Dr Rodger Shortt
Oakville Plastic Surgeon

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How to make nipple reconstruction look more real.

That is an interesting question.  More and more my patients are opting for 3D nipple tattooing!  This newer technique has excellent results.  There is also the ability to use fillers and grafts to help augment the nipple reconstruction.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Robert Whitfield, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
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We reconstruct the nipple using your own tissue for optimium results.


There aren’t special implants used for reconstructive surgery that have a nipple attached. Instead, the nipple is recreated after reconstruction, with the best results seen from using the patient’s own tissue to create dimension followed by tattooing to achieve the proper pigmentation. The problem with including a nipple protrusion on the implant itself is that you run the risk of implants shifting or rotating within the breast, which would then cause the “nipple” to become skewed. Surface reconstruction is really the best choice, and the results (when performed by a skilled and experienced breast reconstruction surgeon) can look very natural.

David N. Sayah, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Nipple reconstruction techniques


There are various techniques and options for nipple reconstruction - decision on which is surgeon dependent.  To answer your question, there are companies that create "structures" for nipples, which are meant to be placed beneath the reconstructed nipple flaps created with your skin.  I typically create the nipple using your own skin flaps at the anatomically-appropriate position.  Depending on the quality of your skin there will depend on if I use a nipple graft or not.  Often times when a flap is used for the breast reconstruction, the tissue is much thicker, and thus, grafts are not typically needed.  If a graft is required to add additional durability and projection, I personally do not use foreign substances.  I prefer to use your own dermis, which I harvest from one of your previous scars.  Finally, I like to tattoo the nipple-areolar complex rather than placing skin grafts as I find it more aesthetically-pleasing.

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.