Nipple and Areola Tattooing

Most mastectomies involve removal of the nipple along with the rest of the breast. While some women choose to use tissue to rebuild a nipple, breast reconstruction surgery may not include the nipple. In these cases, some women choose to have a 3D nipple tattoo applied on their reconstructed breast.

What is involved?

The process for creating a nipple tattoo is similar to other permanent cosmetic tattoos, such as eyebrows. A trained tattoo technician uses oscillating needles to insert pigment into the skin. Because the reconstructed breast typically doesn’t have the same sensation as before surgery, tattooing usually isn’t painful. To create a realistic-looking nipple and areola, the trained cosmetic artist uses precise measurements and carefully mixed pigments to create shadows and highlights, providing realistic-looking “3D” results.


Four to six weeks after your last surgery, you will have a consultation with one of our tattoo technicians to evaluate your individual case. She will then create a plan based on your preferences, scar patterns/thickness, and scar placement. The day of treatment pigments will be applied into your skin using oscillating needles. Pain is minimal to none due to normal numbness in the area. Shadows and highlights will be added to create the 3D effect. This may take more than one treatment depending on the condition of the skin.

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