Nipple and Areola Reconstruction

At Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, we understand that for many women the nipple is an integral part of feeling that their breast reconstruction is complete. Most often, the nipple and areola are removed with the breast tissue at the time of mastectomy. This is done because the nipple contains ducts that carry the risk of developing breast cancer. Regardless of the form of breast reconstruction, the initial post-operative result is left without a nipple. Several months after the initial surgery, a nipple and areola can be reconstructed with local flaps, grafts, or a combination of the two. Additionally, tattooing can be used to restore color to the nipple and areola.