Treatment guide

Nipple Reconstruction

During a mastectomy, your breast tissue along with the nipple and areola are typically removed. During your breast reconstruction journey, nipple reconstruction surgery is performed if you would like a new nipple.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

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★★★★★Gael D., Germany:
“Qunomedical helped me so much! Thank you!“

Nipple Reconstruction Quick Details


  • Patients who have previously had a mastectomy with nipple removal.


  • 30 minutes - 1 hour.


  • You can go home after your procedure.


  • Most patients report a very high satisfaction rate following the surgery.


  • Flattening of reconstructed nipple

  • Tissue death

What Is Nipple Reconstruction Surgery?

Nipple reconstruction surgery is often performed on patients who have had a mastectomy, as a part of their breast reconstruction surgery. It is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and there are three techniques of nipple reconstruction:

1. Local flap: Flaps of skin from your breast are folded and stitched together to form a nipple.

2. Skin grafts: In case there is a lack of skin on your breast, your surgeon will use skin from another part of your body. This is usually your abdomen, thighs, groin or buttocks.

3. Nipple sharing: In this technique, the surgeon will use a part of the nipple on your unaffected breast to graft onto the newly reconstructed breast to form the new nipple.

How Does Nipple Reconstruction Surgery Work?

Listed below are the steps of a nipple reconstruction surgery:

1. You will receive local anaesthesia on the site of the reconstruction. In case you require a skin graft, local anaesthesia will also be administered to the site from which the skin will be taken.

2. A small incision will be made at the reconstruction site. The grafted skin or the surrounding skin will then be used to form the shape of a nipple. The surgeon will then suture this into place, and cover it with a nipple shield, which is made of silicon and is used as a protective covering.

3. Your surgeon may also insert a skin substitute (which are biological or synthetic materials used in reconstruction surgeries), scar tissue or fat into the new nipple, to make sure it does not look flat.

Many patients choose to undergo a nipple tattooing procedure, which is performed by medical aestheticians and can be done a few months following your nipple reconstruction surgery. You can also choose to only have the tattooing done, without the reconstruction surgery.

What Are the Alternatives to a Nipple Reconstruction Surgery?

If you do not want to undergo surgery, nipple prosthetics are an option. These are usually made using silicon, and can be attached and removed according to your liking. Developments in the field have led to the production of custom-made and long-lasting prosthetics, which are a great alternative to surgery.

What Should I Expect From This Procedure?

Have a thorough consultation with your surgeon before undergoing the surgery. Nipple reconstruction is a fairly routine procedure and, as aforementioned, usually does not require a hospital stay. Post-surgery you will be given a surgical bra to wear to hold your dressing and new nipple in place. Lastly, follow the instructions of your surgeon to ensure the best possible recovery and results.


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