Areola pigmentation, or nipple tattooing, is often the final step after breast reconstruction. Also known as micropigmentation or "permanent make-up,"
it can also be done to conceal a scar or cosmetically enhance your nipples.
Most women find that this procedure puts the final touch to their new breast/s.
What to expect during a consultation
After all the surgery of a breast reconstruction is completed (this may include a nipple reconstruction and/or surgery to the other breast to make it match the new breast better)
or both breasts. Your doctor may suggest that you have a procedure to introduce some colour to the nipple and/or its surrounds (the areola).
This process involves intradermal colouration – otherwise known as tattooing.
Natural-looking pigments are used to match your skin tone and nipple size that meets
your aesthetic goals.
Consultations are personal and confidential.
Depending on the treatment you are interested in we will ask you some questions to ensure that you are safe to proceed.
We discuss your areas of concern and advise of the most appropriate treatment plan
Preparing for Areola Pigmentation
You should avoid alcohol; aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs); and certain dietary supplements like vitamin E for at least one week before the procedure. These can increase your risk of bleeding. Alexia will provide a full list of instructions about what you should, and should not do before your cosmetic procedure.
The Areola Pigmentation Procedure
Areola tattooing involves implanting hypoallergenic pigments (colour) into the very top
layers of your skin with a tattoo gun or pen.
To begin, Alexia will inspect your skin to make sure it is healthy enough for areola pigmentation. Next, she will clean the area with alcohol swab then measure and draw
the desired shape onto your skin.
The tattoo is applied with a tattoo gun or pen. These devices have one to 14 needles
attached to them to implant colours. This "needle bar" moves up and down very
quickly. The speed and power of the tattoo gun or pen is controlled by a foot switch
In general, the areola tattooing process takes about 45-60 minutes to perform.
What to expect after the Procedure: Recovery and Results
After your procedure, the nipple area is often quite numb, but some sensation may
return over time. A topical anaesthetic is used prior and during the tattooing. This also constricts blood vessels to reduce bleeding. This allows better uptake of the colour.
The tattooed areola will look darker immediately after the procedure. This is normal
and it takes a few days for the colour to settle within the skin and lighten as it heals. A dressing is applied and should be removed only at the 7th day post procedure. A new
dressing or shield to protect your bra from spotting may be required for a couple of days.
You may feel tender and sore afterwards. It will take seven to 10 days for the tattoo to heal.
A light scaliness or scabbiness will form and may last for a week or two.
The colour will settle and fade over about 3 weeks, after which time it will be reassessed
and a top-up of colour performed as required.
There are some risks, including scarring and infection and you must follow the after care
given to minimise these risks.
Areola Pigmentation Cost
Areola pigmentation cost range from $600 to $1,500.
Your Private Health Insurance may cover the cost of areola pigmentation if it is considered reconstructive (ie; following breast cancer surgery).
Consultations cost $50 and is redeemable towards the treatment * valid for 6 months