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Nipple recon query

21 REPLIES 21
delly
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi Nip girls. Sorry have left it sooo long to catch up and post.
Ohhh, Blueash, you must have felt sooo bloomin dissappointed ref the tattood ones. Good for me to know though, as you set me off seriously considering the same. But glad you've found another alternative in the silicone stick ons. Are you pleased with? and what were your reasons against surgical?
!960sgirl - I'm so glad you're so chuffed with your nip recon. Whoohoo. Yeh, it's that much harder to match a single mast recon and nip to your remaining one. Guess that's a "benefit"or "some" consolation to us double masters, in that it's easier for matching when they're carried out at the same time. Why do you think it will flatten? I think that's much more likely to happen if it's over a silicone implant, because you don't have the same underneath give that you do withb natural tissue. They tend to be harder than a self tissue recon, so the nipple is subjected to pressure and to friction over a period of time, both of those are likely to flatten it.
Poppy3 - I'm sorry you're disappointed with yours, but may still be better than a 3D tattoed one, going off blueash's tattoo experience, ey??
Hope you're all now doing well. Much love Delly xxxxxx
Poppy3
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi....I had a nipple recon sharing from my remaining nipple. I have been a bit disappointed as it has gone completely flat. I thought it would stick out a bit.It did take a long time to heal and I do wonder if that is the reason. What I think upset me more is that I used my good nipple so that is now only half the size it used to be. I think for me I could have had the same looking results from a tattoo. Xx

1960sgirl
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

So, I went for a nipple recon after much deliberation, mainly because I needed a general anaesthetic for a 'tidy up' on my LD flap scar, so thought I might as well have a nipple too. I did not expect to be so emotional the following day when I looked down to see a nipple projecting from my recon boob. I felt like 'me' again. 

 

So, 2 months on and I am now glad I had the op done. I know the nipple will flatten over time, but there will always be a bit of scar tissue there rather than the flat, white smooth patch of skin that had been there before. 

 

If I could wind the clock back though I would have asked to have the new nipple exactly where the previous one was, which although it was a fraction higher than my remaining breast, I was used to . What I have noticed is that you don't get so much movement from your recon breast so you can't 'position' your breast in your bra like you used to. So, because my surgeon matched the nipples for position, when I put a bra on I tend to hoik my remaining breast into place so that it feels comfortable but this now means my nipples are not level as my recon boob does not move so much. If you have small boobs this might not be such a problem but  I would recommend anyone with larger boobs to give it some thought and check it out with your bra on as well as off. 

 

Having said this, with my bra off I have very well matched nipples. 

 

I'd thought I would get a tattoo eventually, but I really don't feel bothered about this now. My breast looks so good with it's new nipple that I feel very content with things as they are. 

1960sgirl
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

So, I went for a nipple recon after much deliberation, mainly because I needed a general anaesthetic for a 'tidy up' on my LD flap scar, so thought I might as well have a nipple too. I did not expect to be so emotional the following day when I looked down to see a nipple projecting from my recon boob. I

blueash
Community Champion

Re: Nipple recon query

Ok well my nipple tattoo has disappeared! It lasted about 4 weeks but when I went back for the top up the nurse said it was not worth doing. She said to try again in about a year and thinks the chemo and rads have played a part. So I am going for a fitting for a silicone nipple next week, you glue it on and it stays in place for ages. At first they give you a ready made one but if you get on alright with it they make a mould of your other nipple and colour it to be an exact match.

 

I have been offered a surgical reconstruction but I don't want that.

delly
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi Blueash, your 3 D nipple tattooing sounds amazing, and am presuming your plaeased with. Isn't it amazing what can be done these days. I'll keep it in mind as an alternative option, should I not have any other options to create a "nub", so to speak. 

I have to say, that my age (58) is now steering me towards easier options, from that of 10 - 12 yrs ago, when I could have had all this dealt with then, but didn't due to other life "stuff". I'm being worn down by other ops (recent cataract and another pending) plus other probs, such as a progressive hand prob, so don't have the same "ooomph" I used to have in pursuit of the best possible result. In other words, I'm more prepared to settle for less than the possible. Time and your age does begin to make a difference.

Much love to you all in your chosen procedures.

Dellywellydingdong xxxxxxxx

blueash
Community Champion

Re: Nipple recon query

I had a 3 d nipple tattoo at my local hospital, two of the nurses have had the training.

delly
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi 1960sgirl,

I have the same questions, as I'm just about to have tissue expanders replaced with silicones op for both boobs and haven't even got round to discussing nipp recon. Except that I know I have to allow the silicones to settle for 3 months before any further surgery, so that nipple recon is more likely to be level !! As I'm coming from a delayed double mastectomy, the thickness of skin over the expander pockets is extremely thin - approx 1 mm, I'm intrigued and interested how they can pull that tissue into a nipple, without damaging the implant underneath and causing damage to the skin. You may be more up on that than me?? But. . . from the photo's I've seen, they "look" very realistic. Guess I've been so concentrated on the procedures required prior to the nipps, that I just haven't got that far in my questionings. I certainly can't have "grafting", not having one/any to graft from.

Ref tattooing - I'm under the understanding that your hospital can and do provide this service, and would think if they can't, they'd be able to provide a list of those who can and are approved by them to.

 

Jayne and Mrs B - Wow, thanks also from me for your imput, and yes Steph, isn't it just amazing what they can do these days. That's great Mrs B, so pleased for you on your successful results - fantastic.

 

Thanks for this post 1960sgirl, reeeally helpful to me too. You're further on from me, so I'm particularly interested to know and hear how you go on.

Love to everyone

Dellywelly xxxxxx

Deborah-Jane
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

my hospital offer tattoo. So Im thinking of going down that route.

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi cal, sorry for delay in replying - somehow I must have switched off email alerts!

I'm not sure how long the dressings were on after the recon, not long. She was back up and active straightaway - had horses and dogs who needed exercise!

The surgeon recommended a tattooist in Aylesbury. It's a mediclinic. However she also recommended someone in Birmingham and Luton - both regular tattoo artists who have trained in 3D medical tattooing. I'm seeing someone in hitchin in a couple of weeks.

It is a big decision. I think the mastectomy or lumpectomy is an easier decision as you are in a total daze at that point and so follow the professional advice. The aesthetic stuff is much more difficult and personal.

Let me know if you'd like more info.
Steph J
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Thanks Mrs B .. how clever is nipple sparing ...the things you learn on here is amazing . 

Not sure if a t shirt on a cold day really makes much difference to me ha .. but Ill certainly enquire about  the technique when the time comes. 

Iv got my plan to have the mastoplexy when I have the nipple recon however it will be towards end of year . My new boob looks so much better than I expected it to , so once the other  is symmetrical I should be very pleased with the result . Looking good bra less sounds fab  to me . Thank you for your reply . xx

Mrs_B
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi steph. My plastic surgeon removed a small potion of my surviving nipple. I had quite enough to share (couldn't go out in just a tee shirt on cold days if you know what I mean). He seemed a cut out from the side and then attached my nipple tip back to the remaining. My new nipple was then grafted onto my reconstructed breast. I'm assuming he had to attached a blood supply but who knows? So now I have two nipples of same size and same colour, and equal protruding. No aerola was removed. I had breast lift and lipo fill at the same time as I told my surgeon he'd done too good a job and now I'd like my other to match. As a friend put it I wanted them to maybe not look like twins but definitely look like sisters! I then had the aerola tattooed. I've lost no feeling in my surviving nipple and as I previously said am really happy. When I am bra-less ( on the beach or in my nightclothes) they both look anazing, good symmetry and perky. Hope this helps. I found it hard to find any information online and think it's quite a unique method of nipple reconstruction so if you're plastic surgeon can offer it then that's great.
Steph J
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi Mrs B 

Just wondering if you  would explain how the nipple sharing graft works . 

Its too early for me yet but I would like to be aware of what is available . Iv had diep ..so at moment a piece of cartiledge is being preserved in my breast ready to stabilise the new nipple . But its going to be at least 9 months before it takes place . 

You say youre really pleased with the result .. can you tell  if the healthier breast has had this procedure (hope that makes sense ) .

Its amazing what  can be done . And great to hear news from ladies like yourself further down the line . Thank you Steph xxx

1960sgirl
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Jayne,

 

that's so kind of you to post. I will search out the link as if I am not suitable for any kind of tissue recon nipple then I would really like a 3D tatoo.

 

I wonder if anyone has used the service and can give feedback? 

 

Will defo give feedback if I go down the tatoo route if not suitable for nipple recon.

 

thanks Jayne.

 

cal

1960sgirl
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Thanks Mrs B,

 

thats good to know. If I am able to have a nipple graft then it does sound like the way forward. I've been reading earlier threads about nipple recon and mostly people are very pleased with nipple grafting. However, I have a feeling that I won't be suitable. We'll see ...

 

cal

Jaynes1208
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi again,

 

I don't know how to post a link to the page, but on Facebook, it is Permenent Makeup By Claire Louise.  

 

Don't know where you are in the country, but I think she is in the South West.  

 

Worth a look I hope! 

 

Good luck!

 

Jayne

xx

Jaynes1208
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi 1960sgirl,

 

I was draw to this thread because of an advertisement I saw on Facebook this week.

 

it was for a free service for 3D nipple tattooing, for breast cancer survivors.  I think I shared it, so will go back and have a look, and if I can find it I will get you details.  The pictures were amazing and the tattooists had just been given awards I believe.

 

going away to look for it!

 

Jayne

xx

Mrs_B
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi Cal

I had nipple sharing graft two years ago. My surviving breast had enough nipple to share.I am really pleased with the results. It made the tattooing of the surrounding aerola much more effective with good colour matching. I'm very happy with the results but can't say if you'll be not recommended given the cancer in your other breast.
1960sgirl
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Thanks for that riversidedawn,

 

Do you know whether your friend used a hospital tatoo service or someone separate? it sounds like a really good idea to have that done but I'm not sure how you find a suitable tatooist.  How long did it take for your friend's scars to heal after the tissue nipple recon? I've assumed I would be able to return to work pretty much the day after surgery, with plenty of dressings and padding over the new nipple. 

 

3D tatooing does sound like a very good option if I can't have a tiisue recon nipple, or decide against it for other reasons.

 

i thought this would be such a straightforward decision after the much bigger decision about whether to have a breast recon after mastectomy, yet  so far I'm finding it almost as complex.

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences, much appreciated.

 

cal

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hello cal, I had mx, chemo, expander implant, rads, silicon implant starting sept 14 - final op March 16!

My surgeon said I can't have nipple recon because of the rads. It makes the skin too delicate.

I do have a mounded silicon nipple which is very realistic. But it is a bit of a faf putting it on and removing it. The glue is like pva and very difficult to wash off.

A friend had natural tissue nipple after ld flap surgery and just had it tattooed to make colour realistic - she is absolutely thrilled.

I've been told I can have a 3D nipple tattoo, then there's always something there when I can be bothered to get the glue out!

Good luck with your decision.
BonitaE_BCC
Member

Re: Nipple recon query

Hi 1960sgirl,

 

Thank you for your post. I am sure some of our users will be along to share their experiences with nipple reconstruction and show their support soon. 

 

In the meantime you can always use our Ask the Nurse service or call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, who will be able to talk you through any questions you have and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below:

 

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Wednesday, 9am-7pm
Saturday, 9am-1pm

 

Best wishes, 

Bonita 

1960sgirl
Member

Nipple recon query

Hi all,

 

6 months post MX with LD flap recon it's time to start thinking about nipple recon. My remaining breast also had cancer (small but moderately aggressive ductal) so I've had a successful WLE on that side along with radiotherapy. My query is, will this rule me out for a nipple graft? Does anyone know? Also, those of you who have had a nipple recon via other tissue, how realistic does it feel? I'm imagining that a silicon nipple made from a mould/cast of your remaining nipple will be very lifelike, maybe more so than a tissue recon? Anyone had experience of both tell me which they preferred? I'm hedging towards a tissue recon as I don't want the fuss of having to remember to attach and then detach a silicon nipple, but would probably decide against it if I knew that the end result was not really very 'nipple like'. Any feedback gratefully received. 

 

Many thanks

 

Cal