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


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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

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Nipple Tattooing and timing.

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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.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nipple recontruction and tattooing

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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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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