Once your breast reconstruction is completed, you may consider undergoing nipple reconstruction. This usually occurs 4-6 months after your permanent implant placement or muscle flap surgery, to allow your new breasts to heal and settle. However, nipple reconstruction may be done much later, depending on patient preference.
Nipple reconstruction, also known as Nipple-Areolar Complex, (NAC), is a quick day surgery, which uses your own tissue on the breast to create a nipple. The reconstructed nipple has projection, but no feeling or function. The areola is created by bringing in skin from another area of the body, such as the lower abdomen and then covering the nipple areolar complex with a protective dressing for about 4-5 days. Once this dressing is removed care must be taken to not injure them. Patients should avoid vigorous exercise for about one month. Most patients do not require much time off of work, usually only a few days if that, and find this surgery to be the easiest step in the whole reconstruction process.
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Note about these procedures: When patients come in for a new patient consult, Dr. Burgess will review the various procedures she performs as well as discuss the other options available to patients. She will help guide you towards the reconstructive surgery that most compliments your aesthetic goals, as well as maintain close communication with your other physicians.