MUSC Advanced Breast Reconstruction program

Nipple Procedure

During nipple reconstruction, your plastic surgeon rearranges the skin on top of the breast mound to form a nipple. Three small flaps of skin, along with the underlying (subcutaneous) fat, are sutured together so the nipple will project out. Any resulting scars, while minimal, are easily concealed with areola tattooing by our specially trained artist. It is not necessary to use tissue from the groin or labia, as some do, but possible if requested.

We may do nipple reconstruction at the same time as symmetry adjustments during Stage 2 reconstruction. Otherwise, the nipple is shaped in a clinic setting with local anesthetic. In order to allow for postoperative swelling to decline and your breasts to settle, you will need to wait three months after Stage 2 breast reconstruction before undergoing nipple reconstruction.

Reconstruction of two nipples takes approximately 30 minutes in a clinic setting. You will be sent home with “nipple protectors” so that your clothes do not flatten your nipple. Reconstructed nipples are very large at first, but over time, this projection will decrease.

Nipple Areola Reconstruction

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