Want to know more about 3D-areola reconstruction following simple mastectomy, radical or partial mastectomy?
What is 3D areola Reconstruction?
This simple but effective treatment restores colour back to the areola (the area around the nipple).
This technique will help achieve symmetry and a more natural result – the finishing touch your breast reconstruction.
Why should I have 3D areola Reconstruction?
The choice to have nipple-areola tattooing is yours. I created a truly 3 Dimensional technique to improve the cosmetic appearance of the breast by creating, as closely as possible, a areola that matches the existing nipple, or for double mastectomies creating both areola’s the colour of your choice.
This treatment will help improve your body image and boost your self-esteem.
How can I prepare for 3D areola reconstruction?
You will need to make sure that the area is fully healed following surgery. You will need to have a clean bra and breast pads for a few days following the treatment.
You will be required to have before and after pictures taken and to fill out a medical history form to be sure that there are no contra indications prior to the treatment.
Medical grade, vegan, hypo-allergenic pigments will be custom blended to match any skin tone, scar tissue and existing areola pigmentation.
Are there any risks?
- Not achieving exact colour match after the first appointment, follow appointment up will be required.
- Uneven pigment colour through scar tissue.
- Infection post-procedure if instructions are not followed.
- Slight skin irritation after the treatment.
- Bleeding – a small amount from the needle puncturing skin.
Are there any alternatives?
Silicone nipple-areola prostheses can be used, speak with your GP about how to obtain these.
What happens during 3D areola reconstruction?
I will discuss the colour and size and shape with you and an outline of the areola will be drawn on with the pigment. When you are happy with the colour and size the I will apply the pigment to the skin using a small pen-like device.
The pigment will be inserted into the skin with needles in the pen-like device: they move very fast and enter the skin at a depth of 1-2mm.
There are several artistic techniques which will use to build up colour and to give the ‘illusion of protrusion’ for patients who need a 3D effect.
The procedure will take approximately 1 hr to complete but can vary with each individual and skin type.
A non-stick dressing will then be applied to the area to prevent rubbing from your bra.
Will I feel any pain?
Due to the breast reconstruction, the area to be tattooed is usually numb so no pain will be felt.
If the area has sensation, a numbing cream can be applied to the area before the procedure is carried out.
Will I have a follow-up appointment?
You will require a follow-up six to eight weeks after the initial treatment. Following an assessment with myself, we will discuss with you if further pigment is necessary. It is usual to require two treatments as the colour will fade over time and a further procedure may be required to achieve and maintain desired colour.
As the tattoo fades over time, you can come back for a colour renewal.
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How should I check my breasts?
Be breast aware
Every woman’s breasts are different in terms of size, shape and consistency. It’s also possible for one breast to be larger than the other.
Get used to how your breasts feel at different times of the month. This can change during your menstrual cycle. For example, some women have tender and lumpy breasts, especially near the armpit, around the time of their period.
After the menopause, normal breasts feel softer, less firm and not as lumpy.
The NHS Breast Screening Programme has produced a 5-point plan for being breast aware:
- know what’s normal for you
- look at your breasts and feel them
- know what changes to look for
- report any changes without delay
- attend routine screening if you’re 50 or over
Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit.
You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.
Breast changes to look out for
See your GP if you notice any of the following changes:
- a change in the size, outline or shape of your breast
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling
- a new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same area on the other side
- nipple discharge that’s not milky
- bleeding from your nipple
- a moist, red area on your nipple that doesn’t heal easily
- any change in nipple position, such as your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
- a rash on or around your nipple
- any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it’s a new pain and doesn’t go away (although pain is only a symptom of breast cancer in rare cases)
Always see your GP if you are concerned
Breast changes can happen for many reasons, and most of them aren’t serious. Lots of women have breast lumps, and 9 out of 10 are not cancerous.