Boulder Plastic Surgery provides various breast reconstruction surgery options for Boulder patients. We specialize in breast reconstruction surgery for patients that have undergone mastectomies for cancer treatments and want to maintain a look as close to the natural breast as possible. Many patients may now be candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomies that allow the use of their own nipple and areola tissue to be used during breast reconstruction. In most mastectomies, the entire breast, including the nipple and areola, is removed while the new breast reconstructed through the use of an implant. The nipple and areola are reconstructed using extra skin and tissue, along with tattooing to mimic the look and coloring of a natural areola. The difference with the nipple-sparing technique is that the original nipple and areola are kept intact and reconstructed on the newly implanted breast. However, it’s not a foolproof procedure for which everyone is a candidate.
Can anyone use their own nipple and areola for breast reconstruction surgery?
No. Boulder patients that are ideal candidates for the nipple-sparing breast reconstruction must first be tested to make sure the tissue near the nipple and areola are not affected by cancer cells. If the doctor finds it to be too risky to save the tissue due to cancer recurrence, your original tissue cannot be used.
Are there any other risks with using original nipple and areola tissue in breast reconstruction?
As with any surgery, there are some risks. The biggest problem that occurs with some patients that undergo nipple-sparing breast reconstruction surgery is the dying of the nipple tissue. Sometimes, when reattaching tissue, the body is not able to reestablish proper blood flow to the area, which could result in necrosis. It’s not dangerous, but in this case, more surgery would be required to reconstruct a new nipple.
Is it better to use your own tissue?
Many patients have been highly satisfied with the results of using their original nipple and areola for their breast reconstruction surgery, because it looks the most like themselves. However, it is not better or worse than undergoing traditional reconstruction, so don’t be discouraged if you are not a candidate for using your original tissue.
Consult with the plastic surgeons at Boulder Plastic Surgery to discuss your breast reconstruction options. They will work with you and your oncologist to create an individualized plan that works with your optimal healthcare and aesthetic goals.