HealthAreola Restoration - Restoring Symmetry and Balance to the...

Areola Restoration – Restoring Symmetry and Balance to the Breasts

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Achieving a natural-looking nipple and areola in patients undergoing a mastectomy is challenging. This is especially true for patients whose surgeries require a transverse or other skin-sparing mastectomy.

Nipple-areola reconstruction requires symmetry in position, size, shape, texture, and projection. It can also involve elevating skin flaps. Nipple and areola restoration may be performed for cosmetic reasons, but it is often an integral part of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

What is Areola Restoration?

Many women experience asymmetry in their nipples or areolas. This can happen naturally due to puberty, pregnancy, or hormonal changes. It can also occur due to medical conditions or trauma. Surgically, breast tissue can be reconstructed to create a new nipple-areola complex after mastectomy or to build a new areola on top of the existing tissue.

In addition, areola restoration in Parker CO or Aesthetic breast reconstruction techniques aims to match the size, shape, and appearance of a patient’s natural nipple mound. These surgeries can be invasive, leave scars and have a long recovery time.

A new and highly specialized form of cosmetic tattooing, 3D Areola Micropigmentation, is a non-surgical treatment that complements breast surgery or reconstructive procedures. This technique utilizes natural micro pigment colors to restore color, provide symmetry and give the look of a realistic areola. It is a powerful tool for many breast cancer survivors and patients who experience loss of nipples or asymmetry after a mastectomy, as it provides the look of a natural areola and nipple.

Areola Restoration Procedure

After reconstructing the breast mound with a DIEP flap, implant, or other surgical procedure, some patients seek to improve the appearance of their nipples and areolas. This aesthetic technique is not a necessary part of breast reconstruction surgery. Still, it can add a sense of completion to the overall process and restore self-confidence for women who have undergone mastectomies or other breast surgeries.

The cosmetic tattoo uses a specialized technique and an artistic eye to create natural-looking areolas that match the patient’s skin tone and surrounding breast tissue. The pigments used for areola restoration fade and lighten over time for a subtle, natural look.

This technique can also be used to correct asymmetrical areolas, reduce the size of oversized areolas, or correct nipple inversion or retraction that can occur with some forms of breast reconstruction. This type of breast micro pigmentation is an excellent option for patients undergoing nipple and areola reduction due to gynecomastia or those with irregular or fading areolas from age or other causes.

Areola Restoration Cost

Areola restoration is an aesthetic procedure not covered by insurance. It can be performed on a cosmetic basis to enhance color or correct scarring, or it may be done during nipple reduction surgery.

The nipple-areola complex is surgically removed and repositioned higher on the chest wall during this reconstructive surgery. This allows most women to retain nipple sensation and the ability to breastfeed.

In many cases, nipple-areola reconstruction is covered by insurance because it is considered part of mastectomy breast reconstruction under WHCRA (The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998).

During this procedure, the nipple is tattooed with pigment that mimics shadows, textures, and patterns that look very realistic. While each person’s pain tolerance differs, most do not feel discomfort during this treatment. The nipple-areola pigmentation typically lasts 3-8 years but can fade faster depending on your lifestyle. The procedure can be repeated to refresh the color. Anesthetic cream is often used before this treatment to reduce any discomfort.

Areola Restoration Recovery

The areola is a circular area on the breast in both women and men. For patients who have undergone a mastectomy, an axillary (underarm) lymph node dissection, or any other breast-related surgery that results in scarring of the areola, cosmetic tattoo techniques can help.

The 3D areola restoration process mimics a natural areola’s color, shape, and texture. This is particularly helpful for women who have had surgical reconstruction. The scarring from this type of breast reconstruction can be softened and camouflaged using the correct pigment blending and fading techniques.

Nipple reconstruction is usually done through a method known as a CV flap, skate flap, or double-opposing tab flap. These operations use a flap of skin from the abdomen, the inner thigh, or other body areas to reconstruct the nipple mound. These procedures often result in the areola being rebuilt with a scar, so a 3D areola can help patients who have had these surgeries feel more complete and whole again.

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