It has taken a few years but I’ve finally completed the last stage of breast reconstruction following my bilateral mastectomy for breast cancer. Last week I was able to get my nipple tattoos. As it turns out people love to talk about breast cancer and mastectomies and silicone but even the most interested turn squeamish when you mention nipples. Maybe it’s the word or the intimacy it implies or the difficulty in picturing what a breast exactly looks like without one. When a person has a mastectomy MOST of the time the nipple is removed as well. It’s the safest option. No worries though. The doctors are pretty fantastic at reconstructing a fairly convincing nipple using just skin and ink. I had my skin graft done two years ago and was scheduled for my tattooing but I got an inconvenient diagnosis of leukemia and had to put it off. Last week my insurance re-approved and I went back to my plastic surgeons office for the final step. The tattooing of the color for the nipple. This was part of the healing for me. I needed to finish one cancer. It has less do with the aesthetics and more to do with the symbolism.
This video does a great job of explaining the process. I did not road trip to see a nipple specialist since my PS office does a pretty good job with the coloring.