Nipple recon - your experiences

Hello - I particularly want to find out about experiences of nipple recon using skin from a donor site. I’ve had DIEP two years ago and just went to theatre to have a nipple bud created from the skin, knowing it would need a tattoo. But also mainly because I didn’t want to have surgery from a donor site under a local anaesthetic - having already had six GAs to get to this point. However, I was too nervous in theatre and we couldn’t do the surgery anyway - I have been offered a general anaesthetic in a few weeks, which I am now prepared to have so that I can feel ‘finished’. The nipple has always been important to me and I know I want to have the surgery, even though I have had a brilliant prosthetic nipple made.

So, now I have a chance to consider the donor skin option. My surgeon uses skin from the inner thigh, and it would mean that the nipple and areola will be a darker colour, so a tattoo may not be necessary. Having seen how nervous I was about the surgery I’m fairly sure I would find getting a tattoo pretty difficult and am now attracted the option of not having one. So, if you have had a nipple recon please could you help me:

I am worried that the donor site will be sore (very inner thigh)?

And what is the colour match like? Did you need a tattoo?

Has the nipple flattened over time?

Thank you, Sarah

Hello Sarah I had a nipple bud made from skin on my breast three weeks ago and I am delighted with how it looks even before the tattoo. So far so good. Good luck with yours. I logged on tonight to see if any one had advice about how soon to start wearing a bra again as I was worried about squashing the results so iam going to keep an eye on your tread and see what advice you get.

regards Heather

Hi, had the "origami " style nipple recon with skin of the breast last November and the second tattooing 10days ago, the results are ok. I had worn a bra throughout with a corn plaster around the nipple to avoid “squashing” it. This was suggested by the BCN. The nipple is slightly tilting down but is still protuding nicely. Good luck. X

Thank you both for your comments.

Heather - yes I understand that you shouldn’t rush back to wearing a bra so you don’t squash the nipple. Glad you are happy with the surgery.

Tina - thanks for sharing. Hope you continue to be happy with your nipple.

Best, Sarah

Thanks for the advice. I am back at work tomorrow for the first time since my op as I had two weeks holiday so I’ll have to waer a bra but I’ll use the corn plaster idea too.

Heather x