nipple reconstruction

Hi, I wonder if anyone could tell me of their experiences with this. I’m due for a nipple reconstruction - finally! - within the next month or so. I had a breast reconstruction Feb 2010 and then it was re done March this year so I’m quite looking forward to the final hurdle. (at least I hope it’s the final hurdle!!) However, my surgeon has worried me a little by telling me that it will be larger than I would expect and that it could look pretty unpleasant for a while. Now I’m beginning to worry about whether I should bother.
Can anyone give their views please?
Thanks
Val

Hi Val

I had mine 5 years ago - about the same interval after surgery as you. It was quiter large at first but shrank considerably. Now it is smaller than the “real” one. I had a tattoo as well. Taken together they do make the reconsstructed breast look normal - so on balance I’m glad I had it.

Good luck

Kx

Thank you K. That’s what I needed to hear I think. After all this time and waiting to finally look more 'normal’again, I was so worried I might regret it.
Val x

I’ve only seen pictures that my surgeon showed me of previous patients and they did look pretty good, so I will deffo go for it!

Maybe your surgeon could show you some pictures so you know what to expect?

I had mine done just before xmas last year - one year after mastectomy and tram reconstruction. Mine was a nipple sharing graft - basically he chopped off part of my normal nipple and sewed it on the other side.It was all healed after 2-3 weeks and then in february I had the finishing touch of a areolar tattoo. It really does look like the real thing and it seems so much more like a proper boob now. I would really encourage you to go for it!!

Thanks for the replies - it’s been very helpful and I do feel better about it now. It’s silly really I know but having come this far there’s always that nagging doubt ‘maybe I should just leave well alone’. Unfortunately I can’t really ask my surgeon for proof of his work as he’s new to all of this - I AM his portfolio!! However, to be fair, he’s made a brilliant job of the reconstruction and I’m pleased with the result so far. He just worried me a smidge when he said about making the nipple larger initially and that it would need covering for a time and then a tattoo… and then I’m afraid I began to wimp out. I do want to look ‘normal’ again so taking your experiences I’ll go for it.
Thanks again.
Val x

hi, I had mine done same time as reconstruction. He used the skin from my back-from shoulders. It looks fine, its a bit bigger then my other nipple but its fine. I didnt get tattoed yet, Im not ven thinking of it. I dont know how other people feels but I still havent accepted the new breast as it is.I have no feeling what so ever, have swallowen bit under arm- no bras would fit. Its still early days says my breast care nurse, its been 4 months.But nipple looks ok, go for it.

Hi manco75, I’m surprised you were given a nipple at the same time as reconstruction - I keep being told to wait… and wait… and wait. I know what you mean about accepting the new breast. I’m on my second reconstruction. The first one (I’m implant only) dropped after a few months and was really uncomfortable so it had to come out and a new one was put in March 2011. I don’t have any feeling at all either and finding a bra to fit is a hassle to say the least. The new side definitely sits higher than the other but it is considerably better this time around than the first time. Hence why going for more surgery for a nipple is a worry. I don’t like to tamper with something that is ok ish and maybe make things worse. However, everyone has said to go for it so I will. Hopefully if it makes the new boob look ‘normal’ I’ll be more accepting of it - if that makes sense?
Regards
Val x

Hi, I am about to book a date to have a nipple recon, my surgeon will use a graft from my inner thigh…has anyone else had this?
He said I would have to keep everyone at arms lengths while it healed to protect the graft and to avoid bumps…bit difficult that one as I am always bumping into things with my recon boob since it has no sensation.
Does this mean I can’t drive because of seat belt rubbing?
Any ideas?
X

anyone?

Hi, sorry I’ve only just picked up on this. I can’t help at all with the graft from the leg as my nipple construction will be using skin from the breast; he’s intending to loop up some of the scar tissue(?) However, I was told that I’d have to keep it covered and padded for quite a while and avoid any knocks or bumps. Apparently it will look crusty and grotty for a while. (can’t wait!)I haven’t been told I won’t be able to drive but I’m guessing that I may have to keep the seat belt well padded. You’ve worried me now - I’ll have to ask.
Regards
Val

I never asked about driving and jsut got on with it - wasn’t a problem!

Kx

Thanks for replying ladies
I have had a chance to discuss it with my bcn.
The skin graft will be incredibly fragile and has to be protected… it seems that the dressing ( about 1cm thick) will be stitched to my skin, not as bad as it sounds…remember no sensation. I have tried adjusting the seatbelt in my car and no matter how it always seems to rub the area where my new nipple will be, of course if it was my right boob it would not be an issue. I’m going to investigate sea belt adjuster thingys …I’ll let you know if i find anything that works. As I’ve been told it will have to be protected for the best part of a month I will have to find a way to drive or I’ll go nuts!
E x