Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple and Areola Reconstruction

Nipple Sparing Reconstruction – Port Saint Lucie, FL

We offer nipple and areola reconstructive surgical services for women requiring it after having a mastectomy and breast reconstruction procedures.

What is Nipple Reconstruction?

Nipple reconstruction at Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery (VIPS) can provide you with soft, feminine results that look like your natural nipple/areola complex after a mastectomy. Our board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. William Vinyard, performs immediate skin and nipple-sparing breast reconstruction for women in Port Saint Lucie, FL. Many women choose to have an immediate nipple-sparing mastectomy so that their skin, areola, and nipple can be rebuilt with their reconstructed breasts. If you are facing a mastectomy and are not sure what type of reconstruction would look and feel most natural, you can consult with Dr. Vinyard. A nipple reconstruction with your own nipple genuinely will feel the most natural. Your general surgeon will take all of the breast tissue from your breasts and Dr. Vinyard can perform the reconstruction within the same surgery. You can have a nipple-sparring breast reconstruction with synthetic implants or with a fat transfer of your own tissues from another site on your body. If you qualify for an immediate nipple reconstruction, our hope is that you achieve (as close as possible) the look and feel of your former breasts. We invite you to have a consultation at VIPS by contacting us online or by phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a candidate?

To qualify for an immediate nipple-sparing reconstruction, you will still be in the beginning stages of planning your mastectomy. You may be searching for a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs an immediate reconstruction after a mastectomy. This option gives you the opportunity to use your own tissues instead of losing your nipples altogether.

If you have had a breast reconstruction in the past and are ready for a nipple reconstruction, then you can be a candidate for nipple recreation with tissues from a donor site on your body. We can also reconstruct your nipple in the event there was a trauma to the breast resulting in the loss or damage to the nipple/areola complex or if you have a congenital deformity. You can call and talk to one of our friendly patient coordinators to schedule an appointment for your consultation with Dr. Vinyard. We will be prepared to answer your questions and find a time that works with your schedule.

What's the technique?

There are several ways to reconstruct a nipple/areola complex. You will discuss with Dr. Vinyard where your surgery will take place and what type of anesthesia will be used during your treatment planning phase. He offers a nipple-sparing reconstruction at the time of mastectomy or a new nipple reconstruction as a secondary surgery at a later date.

Nipple-sparing mastectomies are generally a preferred option because you are keeping your original areola/nipple complex. This must be a cancer-free area. Then, Dr. Vinyard can perform your breast reconstruction of choice in tandem with positioning your nipple/areola complex at an aesthetically pleasing position and size.

If you cannot save your nipple/areola complex, then you may opt to have a second surgery later on to recreate the breast with your own tissue taken from another area of your body to make your nipples the right color, size, and improve their projection. Regardless of what type of surgical technique that is used, Dr. Vinyard will skillfully make the areola/nipple complex symmetrical and harmonious in the overall look of your breasts.

What can I expect?

After your nipple reconstruction, your breasts may appear to be swollen and red in color. If you had tissue taken from another part of your body, the donor site will also need to heal. Recovery for a nipple reconstruction really depends on you. You will need to keep all your follow-up appointments with Dr. Vinyard so that he can monitor your progress, keep an eye out for infection, and to help you with aftercare so that you can get the best results post-op. We will also give you detailed instruction on how to care for yourself at home for you to follow.

How much will a nipple reconstruction cost?

Nipple reconstruction is a part of the breast reconstruction process. This is not considered an elective procedure because it is an extension of your breast reconstruction. Dr. Vinyard will put together a fee schedule for you and your insurance company to go over if you need pre-authorization to have this covered. The WHCRA (Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act) of 1998 requires insurance plans to cover all surgeries that relate to the reconstruction of your breast — this includes your nipple/areola complex. You will be responsible to pay all your specialists’ co-pays and coinsurance, which will cover your consultation fee. Dr. Vinyard will devise a treatment plan for you after listening to your needs and goals before crafting your custom reconstruction plan. We can go through the cost estimates, payment methods, and insurance coverage at that point. We will also help you offer all the needed information and paperwork to your insurance company.

Can I still save my nipples if I have cancer near the area?

There is a possibility that your nipples and areola have to be removed if cancer cells are found within the tissues close by. If your nipples have the slightest chance of becoming cancerous, then your treatment plan will reflect a total mastectomy. Without the skill of an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon, a general surgeon will take the entire breast that looks flat on your chest. When you have Dr. Vinyard by your side, you can have a plan in place to recreate your nipples to look as natural as they can throughout this process. 

Will I have sensations in my nipples after reconstruction?

A nipple reconstruction is meant to recreate your nipples and areolas to look more natural and feminine. You will not have the same sensations in your nipples like before. The good news is that your nipples and areola complex will look aesthetically pleasing after a reconstructive procedure.

Will I need pain medication after surgery?

You will most likely need some type of pain medication postoperatively. It is important that you only take pain medication that Dr. Vinyard advises or prescribes. Call our office before adding or changing the medications you are taking.

Also, it is really important to take your full course of antibiotics if Dr. Vinyard prescribes them to you. This will help in your recovery to help prevent infection. Not every nipple reconstruction patient will be given a round of antibiotics to take. Taking excellent care of your incisions to keep bacteria at bay so you do not get an infection will also help you recover faster.

Will I have to go into the hospital?

This will be up to Dr. Vinyard. Depending on what type of surgeries you have on the day of your mastectomy/ reconstruction will determine if you need to be admitted into the hospital. It is more likely that you will be admitted so that you can be monitored after a major surgery like this one. 

Featured Video

Breast Reconstruction Testimonial

He explained to me everything that was going to happen before going into it so I had an understanding so I could be prepared mentally and physically.

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291 NW Peacock Blvd Ste 104 Port St. Lucie, FL 34986