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Topic: Nipple reconstruction

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 07:57PM

Cyn0619 wrote:

Hi
I'm new to this forum and see there are a ton of topics on this forum. I'm not sure how to search if you r looking for something specific. I'm having my TE's switched to silicone implants next month. I had nipple sparring mastectomy on non cancer side and nipple on cancer side was too close to tumor so it was removed. I'm thinking of doing nipple reconstruction after I'm all healed from exchange. My PS says he uses incision site and tattooing. Has anyone had this done? I'm wondering how well he can match the other side. Thanks for all your input ladies ; )

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Jun 6, 2012 07:43AM leeharry6 wrote:

well, i also have done my nipple construction and i feel great now

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Jun 6, 2012 08:08AM lago wrote:

Lab & Golden your nipples will continue to shrink and maybe get a tad wider. I think the circumference looks bigger but in a good way. I had mine done in October.

I'm glad I did it. I know some other women here on bc.org have seen mine back in February. Many were going to do the 3-D tattoos but changed their mind once they saw my nipples. One thing to keep in mind with the 3-D tattoos is the will look 3-D from the front view but not so much from the side. I asked my PS about it. He said he used to do that but the nipple recon looks much better/more natural.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 6, 2012 04:21PM lab44 wrote:

The scabs do not hurt when they fall off, just thankfully, makes them look better.

I had called my PS's office and they said that most of the shrinkage occurs within the initial 6 weeks and some additional shrinkage can occur after that but not much. They did confirm that they can do an outpatient procedure to make them smaller if I want.

lago: do you remember if yours shrank "enough" in that time frame or did they continue to shrink after that? 

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Jun 6, 2012 04:36PM lago wrote:

Yes they continued to shrink but at a slower pace. I like they way they are now so I hope they don't shrink much more. It's been 7.5 months. I think they might have stopped.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 7, 2012 01:33AM - edited Jun 7, 2012 01:44AM by lisagwa

There is another similar thread called "Surgical Nipples or 3D Tattoo Nips." Someone mentioned 3D nipple tattoo with a bit of FG at the nipple so that nipple wasnt flat. Has anyone done this or heard about this? it sounds like something I might want to consider.

Dx 2/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/23/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Surgery 6/19/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 7, 2012 07:59AM lago wrote:

Lisa I have heard something like that. I know if I didn't do any fat transfer (not to nipples) and a revision to lefty my nipple recon recovery would have been just a few days. Getting fat transfer has recovery time too from the donor site. It gets sore and bruised.
DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 8, 2012 05:02PM stjude10 wrote:

I'm set for exchange and nipple recon for 6/20. I've gotta say I'm more nervous about this part of the surgery. I sure hope it works out okay. Thanks Lago for giving me hope!

Lori Dx 7/29/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/18/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2012
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Jun 17, 2012 11:27AM Golden01 wrote:

Stjude1- Good luck to you this week!

I'm about a month out from my nipple reconstruction and getting more pleased with the results every day. Will have a better sense once the scabs are all off. I do have question though, the past few days, I've developed itching, not around my nipples (had some of that with incision healing) but deep in just one part of my right breast (no real way to scratch). Anyone else develop that? I didn't really think I had any nerves connected anything anymore around there. This is really aggravating! I'll see my doctor this week but am working to getting through the weekend without embarrassing myself in public by scratching there! If anyone has any ideas on what might be causing it or more important what to do to make it stop, your thoughts will be sincerely appreciated! I'm on Tamoxifen so don't take Benedryl.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 26, 2012 11:04AM DJL wrote:

Don't have any solutions for you, Golden01 about the itching, but wanted to let you know you are not alone. My PS told me it was the nerves "wiggling around" that gave you that feeling. Pressing down seems to help mine go away ~ but that may just be my imagination! LOL. Hang in there.

Dx 11/20/2010, DCIS, ER+
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Jun 26, 2012 09:18PM njbhwgirl wrote:

I am a 18 mos out from nipple recon. Initially they were big and plump. I was ecstatic.  About a month later they started to flatten out. At present, they are slightly raised. If I wore a t shirt with no bra you would see a little nip.. Am I happy?  Yes and no. When I look in the mirror I see something that resembles a nipple so it almost looks normal to me. Do I wish they were bigger and fuller?  absolutely yes!! I also got the aerola tattoo and they look fantastic

Just wondering if I went back for fat grafting to get a bigger  nipple, would it ruin the tattoo I have now?"  Has anyone done this?

Dx 3/16/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/27 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Jun 26, 2012 09:24PM Golden01 wrote:

DJ - Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. Your PS's description of the "wiggling around" certainly described well what I experienced! Good news is that it's gotten better! Deep itching is gone with just a little discomfort in the area that seems to be improving. Everything is healing well. Scabs seem to be holding on but I am a patient woman.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 26, 2012 09:49PM - edited Jun 26, 2012 09:50PM by jwilco

I'm scheduled for more fat grafting and a nipple in August.  What can I expect as far as bandaging for the new nip?  I only took a week off work and am hoping to go back incognito about the nipple business.  Will I have to wear some big bandage?  I had a UMX/lat recon so it's only the one side.

Dx 8/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 27, 2012 08:23AM Golden01 wrote:

I took two weeks off from work. The PS had wrapped me in a big ace-type bandage (similar to the one after the BMX and TE exchange) for about five days. After that, I just needed regualar bandaid that sort of "cupped" the nipples along with a piece of paper tape to reinforce the bandaid. I wore a camisole for about 3 weeks and then went back into my regular bra. I had hoped to be out of the camisole before I went to work but it didn't work out that way. At about a month out, I didn't need the bandaids anymore. At first, the nipples seemed huge to me but they have shrunk nicely. When the scab finally comes of the right side, it may be too smaller than the one on the left. I've learned through all of this to "wait and see" as things do change over time.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 27, 2012 08:28AM lago wrote:

Like Golden after the first 4-5 days the big bandage came off. I then used gauze on either side of the nipple to protect it from getting smooshed down. At first wore cami's then a very soft bra with lots of soft padding. I had to wear loose shirts because you could see the bumps from the gauze. I was freelancing at the time and it was October so not that hard to hide

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 27, 2012 11:48AM Fearlessfoot wrote:

MWS or others:  Question on using skin from inner thigh.  PS has mentioned that to me too.  My inner thighs have lots of hair!  So how would that work?  Do they remove the hair follicles or how do you avoid a hairy nipple?

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/10/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/14/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 5/28/2012
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Jun 27, 2012 10:01PM NeedtobeSTRONG wrote:

I am scheduled for nipple reconstruction on Aug 3rd. I did not anticipate having to take much time off from work. From reading these posts i am thinking i may need to replan. I am scheduled for a Friday. Do think i need to take off more than the weekend?

Dx 9/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 15/36 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 28, 2012 12:32AM Golden01 wrote:

I'm fortunate because I still have ample sick leave so part of the reason of taking two weeks was to be able to get back to my exercise program, taking time for dealing with some of the emotions I'm experiencing (almost a year since I was diagnosed),etc., before heading back to work.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 28, 2012 09:34AM lago wrote:

Needtobestrong I had mine on a Friday. My PS said I couldn't go back to work till I saw him for post op. Had an appointment on Monday, was cleared to go back to work on Tuesday. So if I had a job I would have. Did manage to land freelance about a week later.
DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 29, 2012 03:37AM Chantal10 wrote:

I was thinking about only doing the 3d tattoos, instead of surgical nips( and then tattoo areolas), BUT now I am rethinking it again! My surgery is on Thursday July 5. I'm nervous! Fat grafting, scar revision and... Nips or no nips?. I'm so confused. I just don't want them sticking out on the occasion that I go braless. Is everyone happy with the nips? Any regrets over them? I'm scared I guess. Jan 5 was my original bmx and July 5 will HOPEfully be last surgery! It's been 7 months of surgery insanity over here. I'm grateful for my ps and for you ladies. Thanks for the good advice.

Dx 11/20/2011, IDC, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/4/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/19/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 2/27/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Radiation Therapy 3/20/2017
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Jun 29, 2012 07:53AM lago wrote:

I'm so glad I did my nips. I find if the shirt is thin I will need to use those pedal covers to hide the nips but if not that thin I'm fine. They do flatten out a bit and soften up. I'm 8 months out.

I also know when I showed my nips to other women they decided to go forward instead of just that tattoo. I think if I had rads or any complications with my skin/healing like necrosis I might consider just doing that tattoo. Granted I did find I healed so much faster when I was further out from last chemo.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 29, 2012 01:17PM islandmom wrote:

Fearlessfoot I am a uni and the PS used skin from my inner thigh for the aerola.  I was concerned about hair as well so I had laser hair removal done in my bikini area before the graft.  I was able to do it only once because you have to wait for the hair to grow and I had to get my nip done.   It has been 8 months since the graft and in all that time I have removed 3 hairs from the aerola.   Laser hair removal works well if you have dark coarse hair.  I liked so much that I had 2 more sessions in my bikini area and now I can put a bathing suit anythime, I wish I had done earlier. 
Dx 10/20/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/3/2010 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 1/6/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/6/2011 Surgery 6/6/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 10/8/2011 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 6/11/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/10/2013 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jun 30, 2012 03:55AM Chantal10 wrote:

Islandmom, not a boobie related comment here, but I also had laser hair removal on my bikini line about 7 years ago and to date it is the best money I have ever spent on myself! Truly fantastic.

Dx 11/20/2011, IDC, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/4/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/19/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 2/27/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Radiation Therapy 3/20/2017
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Jun 30, 2012 03:56AM Chantal10 wrote:

Thanks Lago, I think I'm going to go for it! Thanks for the encouragement!

Dx 11/20/2011, IDC, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/4/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/19/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 2/27/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Radiation Therapy 3/20/2017
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Jun 30, 2012 09:57AM Layla2525 wrote:

DJL, hilarious, hope everything is in alignment now..with the previous cow udders. Dont want to have to send you all to the auto shop to get a front end alignment..lol.

Saw my PS photo extended new photo album the other day and the patients are shown right after surg and then 3 mths out and they looked fabulous! The only thing I didnt like was the areola tatoo so wonder if I can get a different tat artist? I would worry about hygiene at some places and they have to be experienced with this type of thing so they dont hurt the implant. the patients were drooping after only 3 mths like natural breasts and the nips looked real but the tatoo was uh like the patient did it..not so much. Then i am very fair and my natural ones were a lavender pink but dont think that will cover the scars so maybe have to go a deeper pink? They have tons of colors but dont want my areola to look like some kids were trying to make pancakes! Who knew BC was so complicated? And the getting well..but I will take the getting well part happily any day.

bmx w/TE on 2/13/12,exchange to Mentor high profile 600cc gel implants on 08/30/12,07/01/2013,new Natrelle 45 gel,replaced Mentors due to capsule. Dx 12/19/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 6, 2012 03:03PM JoniJ wrote:

Golden01 - I have had horrible itching. It sounds exactly like you describe. It's deep within the breast and you can't get relief from scratching and nothing seems to help. I put heat on it, ice on it, took ibuprofen, tried massaging it....nothing helps. For me, it mostly happens when I'm really active...like exercising. And, it's been almost 18 months since mastectomy. PS says it's nerves trying to regenerate. I wish I could offer some help, but I haven't found anything that relieves the itch. But, at least you're not alone. Good luck!

Dx 9/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 10/27/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 6, 2012 04:04PM bcs2011 wrote:

Hello Ladies! I'm sceduled for nipple reconstruction in Sept. All along I have been thinking 3-D tats but had my pre-op for exchange yesterday and went ahead and got sceduled for the nips.??? I don't know what to do how do you decide. I have not had a bra on in over a year and I like to have the option to not wear one but don't want to feel like my nips are showing at all. For all you ladies that have had nipples reconstructed do you feel like you need to wear a bra? Maybe the tats are the best? I want to be as normal looking as I can be but after going threw all this I thought it might be kinda nice to have foobs that don't need a bra, but I sure don't want to feel consiouse of my nips showing.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 6, 2012 04:38PM lago wrote:

Depends on how thin the shirt is. Also there are those petal things you can wear to hide them if you don't wear a bra. To be honest I went without a bra all last summer but I'm glad I wear one now. I don't want gravity to pull the girls down.

Also I do have this one strapless dress where I don't wear a bra. The issue is because the boobs are numb I can't feel when it starts to slide down. Must wear dress tape Tongue out

I'm glad I did it. They really don't stick out that much. I had mine done in October.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 6, 2012 10:55PM - edited Jul 7, 2012 11:37AM by Golden01

My deep itch went away after a few days but I was left with pain in that area (not terrible, just bothersome) along with some pain on the rib below the breast on the right side. I saw the PS this week, and he felt what I was feeling wasn't unusual given "the amount of pocket work" he says he did while he was in during the nipple surgery. He took off the big scab on the right side (the one on the left had come off on its own) and I'm afraid what is underneath isn't very big. As with every step of the journey, I'm going to withhold judgement to see how things turn out. I'll see the tattoo artist and then schedule those for in the fall. I want to go swimming often the rest of the summer and just not think about it very much for awhile.

By the way, my PS took the implants completely out while doing the nipples! The surgery report is a hoot to read - they put them in basins with antisceptic solution. Hope nobody dropped them! Not sure if he always does that (he told me before surgery that's what he would do) or if it was just because of the "pocket work". All in all, I'm pretty satisfied, except the right one is a little lower than the left.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 15, 2012 03:27AM Chantal10 wrote:

I had fat grafting and scar revision surgery last Thursday- was also scheduled for surgical nips. I went back and forth daily for months about the surgical nipples, yes, no, yes, no. The day before surgery I decided no. I'm happy with my decision. The absolute best part about all of this insanity is hands down the ability to not wear a bra. I've been doing a lot of it and decided that nipple projection is not something I want to deal with daily. I will have 3d nips done soon, but I need a break!;)

Dx 11/20/2011, IDC, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/4/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/19/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 2/27/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Radiation Therapy 3/20/2017
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Jul 15, 2012 09:10AM lago wrote:

Do check with your PS about not wearing a bra. I know my PS wants me to wear one when I'm awake and a supportive exercise bra when working out. I know lefty has settle bit further south than righty.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+

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