As part of a mastectomy, the nipple is often removed. However, there are ways to maintain or replace it. Sometimes, the nipple can be left attached to the skin of the breast or can be removed and grafted onto the reconstructed breast.
Nipple reconstruction is normally done 4-6 months after the breast reduction procedure or, in certain cases, at the same time. The nipple can be shaped using:
- Nipple flap – the surgeon folds the skin of your new breast into the shape of a nipple.
- Nipple-sharing graft – part of the nipple from your natural breast is placed on your new breast.
If you do not wish to have nipple reconstruction, you may prefer to have a nipple made of silicone. The nipple is attached to the reconstructed breast using a special adhesive and may stay in place for up to three months.