How Long Should One Wait Before Having a Nipple Replacement?

After a breast reconstruction following surgically treated breast cancer, when would be the best time for a nipple replacement procedure?

Doctor Answers 3

You will need to wait at least 3 months

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The procedure for the nipple reconstruction will depend on the type of breast reconstruction. I would wait longer if you had radiation .

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Nipple areola reconstruction

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Nipple areola reconstruction is the final stage of breast reconstruction after mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

It is performed idealy when the symmetry is achieved and the breast is stable, all healing complete then the nipple areola is reconstructed

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Nipple reconstruction is the last step of the long breast cancer journey

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Nipple reconstruction is the final step of the long breast cancer journey. It should be done when the breasts are symmetric, swelling has completely resolved after the last surgery (usually 2-3 months), and, when implants have been used, there is no capsular contracture (the process of scarring around an implant). There are many different techniques that have been described for nipple reconstruction, but no one technique is superior to others. It can easily be done in the office with a little local numbing medicine and no down-time. The down side of nipple reconstruction is that the nipples always flatten over time. However, this is usually not bothersome as most women don't want to have "projected" nipples. Some women even elect not to have nipple reconstruction because they like the idea of not having to wear a bra. For those women who prefer to maintain some shape of the nipples, I've used injectable dermal fillers with good results. Be sure to seek the expertise of a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction.

Ariel N. Rad, MD, PhD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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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.