For many of us, we don’t even think about nipple reconstruction because it’s not really a topic that comes up. In fact, it’s not a popular need or something that you hear about very often. However, nipple reconstruction surgery is often needed or desired either when the nipple has been damaged and no longer exists or has sustained so much damage that it’s barely visible.
Nipple reconstruction is basically recreating a nipple where one no longer exists. This is seen most popularly with those who have gone through a mastectomy due to cancer. However, there are other various reasons why someone may choose to have nipple reconstruction. Some of these may include incidents where the nipple was ripped off, nipple rings were ripped out, etc.
How is Nipple Reconstruction Accomplished?
Often times, excess skin from the labia, opposite breast, or inner thigh is taken and a nipple is formed out of it. This is then surgically placed onto the nipple area. However, it is becoming more popular for skin to be removed from the area where the nipple will be, for a seamless look.
During surgery, a small incision in the new nipple area and stitches will be used to place, form, and secure the new nipple. A small incision will also be used if skin is being utilized from another area of the body, as mentioned previously.
What to Expect Before and After Nipple Reconstruction
Since the surgery is a basic one and will only require general anesthesia, it is more popular for nipple reconstruction to be done as an outpatient procedure. This means there will be no hospital stays. However, it’s advised that the patient not drive after the surgery and have a ride home to ensure they continue to stay healthy and stable as the anesthesia continues to wear off. As with any procedure utilizing anesthesia, it may be expected of the patient to not eat or drink within a certain period of time before the procedure.
It’s important to note that many doctors will not perform surgery if you forget to follow the list of steps they give you in order to prepare for the procedure. This is because anesthesia can be tricky and requires stability in order for it to be used most effectively. Alleviating food and drink as well as giving “prep medicine” gives a more definite secure environment and less of a guessing game for the medical workers involved with the surgery. Remember, this is for the patient’s safety and plays an important role in the success of any surgery, no matter how minor.
Nipple surgery is a relatively quick and safe surgery. There usually is no issue when this surgery is performed and it involves a quick recovery with little pain in the affected areas. It is a great option for those who need it.