After Breast Reconstruction, How Long Do Nipple Tattoos Generally Last?

Following breast reconstruction after a mastectomy using an implant, I had my reconstructed nipple tattooed. A year later, it was totally faded and is now completely white. I am very self conscious about how it looks since it looks nothing like my "real" side. If I have it tattooed again, will the same thing happen? I just want to look normal, but if the same thing will happen again, I don't want to go through the pain and bother of another tattoo. Thank you for any help on this! Anne

Doctor Answers 4

Nipple tattoo

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Nipple tattoo can fade and sometimes needs to be revised.  Go back to your surgeon or tattoo specialist.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast reconstructions need maintenance

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Some patients have more problems with their tattoos fading than others.  Don't give up.  Try another tattoo.  Often you can have your tattoo done under local anesthesia (an injection of numbing medicine) or under topical anesthesia (cream applied before the procedure).  It is a bother, but almost always worth it.  Unfortunately everything (including breast reconstruction) needs maintenance.  Time and gravity always eventually win and patients need touch ups.  Don't stop now, you can do it again!  Good luck.

Michael Novia, MD (retired)
Olympia Plastic Surgeon

Nipple areola Tatto

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Nipple Areaola tattoo will fade with time.

If the tattoo is done by a proffessional tattoo artist the colors will last longer

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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NIpple Tattoos Last Long After Recon?#breastreconstruction

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Tattoos will fade over time. I have found that my patients who have their tattoos done by a specialist will have a more long lasting result. The person who does them for me in my office offers at least one touch up for a patient within a year for free. You may want to look for that situation.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.