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Nipple Reconstruction in New York City

ProceduresNipple Reconstruction

Introduction to Nipple Reconstruction

At plastic and reconstructive surgery practice in New York City, patients often ask about nipple reconstruction. Nipple reconstruction is usually performed to reconstruct the nipple-areola complex after a traditional mastectomy, in which the nipple-areola complex is resected. In addition, patients will also request correction of nipple deformities, such as inverted nipples.

If you have any questions about getting nipple reconstruction in New York, please contact us today. We look forward to answering your questions and providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Women should have full control of their bodies, and it is the right of every woman to create a shape that makes her feel most comfortable in her own skin. Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the United States. The most obvious reason for seeking breast augmentation is a desire for bigger breasts. Another reason that women commonly seek breast augmentation is that they have two very different-sized breasts and they want to improve the symmetry between their two breasts. Whatever the reason for wanting breast augmentation, Dr. Chen excels in creating very natural-looking breasts using different techniques including breast implants, fat grafting, and even microvascular flap surgery. Dr. Chen listens carefully to what the aesthetic goals are for the patient’s breasts, and she strives to deliver some of the best breast augmentation results in New York while prioritizing patient safety. Below, we’ve included our guide to breast augmentation, but please call us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation.

What is Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple reconstruction can be performed after surgical resection of the nipple for disease treatment or for congenital nipple defects. Most commonly, patients who undergo nipple reconstruction have lost a nipple after mastectomy or some other type of breast surgery. Sometimes, a person is born without a nipple or with an inverted nipple. Whether a person is missing a nipple due to surgery or congenital malformations, it is possible to recreate a nipple surgically.

Who are the Best Candidates for Nipple Reconstruction

The best candidates for nipple reconstruction are healthy non-smoking patients who are at their ideal body weight. Patients should be without major medical comorbidities to minimize the risk of post-surgical complications.

What are the Benefits of Nipple Reconstruction

The benefits of nipple reconstruction are the creation of a nipple-areola complex on a breast mound so that a breast appears more natural. Nipple reconstruction usually improves body image and helps a patient feel more whole. The reconstructed nipple is not connected to milk ducts, so it will not improve breastfeeding capabilities.

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What’s the First Step?

The first step to getting nipple reconstruction in New York with Dr. Constance Chen is to book a consultation. During your initial visit, Dr. Chen will obtain your medical history and perform a physical examination. If you are a candidate for nipple reconstruction, a surgical plan will be developed.

What to Expect on the Day of Nipple Reconstruction

A traditional mastectomy resects both the nipple and the areola. The areola is the colored circle around the nipple. The nipple and the areola together are called the nipple-areola complex (NAC). After a mastectomy, breast reconstruction involves recreating the breast mound either with natural tissue or with an implant to reapproximate the shape of a breast under clothes. Unless a patient has undergone a nipple-sparing mastectomy, the reconstructed breast will not have a NAC.

Some patients are happy with a breast mound that does not have a nipple. They feel that they can wear clothes and bathing suits without feeling self-conscious, and that is enough. For other patients, they would like their breasts to look as normal as possible without clothes. After creating a breast mound that restores the breast shape, seeing a reconstructed nipple helps many people feel more ordinary when they look at their breasts in the mirror. Seeing a regular breast helps many patients move on so that they do not have to think about their breasts or their bodies every day for the rest of their lives.

Nipple reconstruction after mastectomy can be achieved in many different ways. One common way to reconstruct the nipple is by using a flap of skin from the surrounding breast skin. The breast skin is then folded and reconfigured in the shape of a nipple. For patients who have unilateral breast reconstruction and have a large native nipple on the other side, a nipple-sharing technique can be used to reconstruct the nipple. Part of the large native nipple can be used and grafted to form a nipple on the reconstructed breast. Finally, an older technique of nipple reconstruction involves using a flap of skin from the groin.

After nipple reconstruction, a plastic nipple “house” is placed over the reconstructed nipple to protect the new nipple. The plastic nipple “house” is kept in place for one week. During this week, the patient cannot shower and should undergo sponge baths only. After one week, the plastic nipple “house” is removed, and it is replaced with a soft nipple dressing. During the second week, the patient can shower normally. Two weeks after nipple reconstruction, the patient does not need a dressing over the new nipple.

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Over time, a reconstructed nipple is expected to lose about half of its volume. Thus, it is necessary to create a nipple that is initially larger than its final desired size. Once the nipple has healed, the NAC is completed by tattooing the surrounding breast skin to recreate the areola. Some women decide to forego the nipple reconstruction and undergo tattooing only to create a flat NAC with a three-dimensional illusion. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Nipple Reconstruction forInverted Nipple

Some women have not had their nipples removed surgically, but they were born without a nipple or with an inverted nipple. For someone who was born without a nipple, nipple reconstruction is performed in a similar fashion to a patient who has undergone nipple resection. For someone with an inverted nipple, improving the projection of the nipple can be achieved by placing acellular dermal matrix (ADM) under the nipple. After the ADM is placed under the nipple skin, it is sutured in place to give the nipple projection. The sutures dissolve over time, and the acellular dermal matrix provides substance and volume to the inverted nipple.

Nipple Reconstruction Recovery

Nipple reconstruction is an outpatient procedure in which the patient goes home the same day as the surgery. A plastic “nipple house” is placed over the new nipple, and it is kept in place for one week. The patient cannot shower for one week after surgery while the nipple house is in place. After one week, the plastic nipple house is removed, and it is replaced with a soft nipple dressing. During the second week, the patient can shower and replace the nipple dressing after every shower. Two weeks after nipple reconstruction, the patient does not need a dressing over the new nipple.

Why Choose Dr. Chen for Nipple Reconstruction

Dr. Constance Chen is an expert in restorative techniques such as breast and nipple reconstruction. She understands that creating a realistic nipple is part of the aesthetic breast reconstruction for many patients. For this reason, she thinks outside the box to develop safe and reliable ways to reconstruct the nipple-areola complex. She will also be honest when nipple reconstruction cannot be safely performed. Dr. Chen is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

How Much Does Nipple Reconstruction Cost in NYC?

The cost of nipple reconstruction in New York City will vary based on a number of factors. A consultation with a physical examination is necessary to develop a surgical plan. If you are a good candidate for this surgery, our patient coordinators can provide you with a cost estimate and discuss insurance options.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Constance Chen in our New York City office, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing your concerns and helping you understand your options for nipple reconstruction.


Many of our patients have volunteered to speak with other women who may have questions about what it is like to go through restorative breast and body surgery. If you would like to speak with someone who has already gone through the process, please contact us and we will find a “buddy” for you.


The Bosom Buddies are available for emotional support, practical tips, sharing stories, and other types of real life help that can help other women feel more comfortable and safe in their journey.

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Please reach out to us with any questions that you may have. If you would like more information or would like to make an appointment, we would be happy to speak with you. We look forward to helping you throughout your journey.

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As one of the leading breast reconstruction specialists in the United States, Dr. Constance Chen has been featured in over 100 news and media publications and journals over her years in practice.

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