Nipple-Areola Reconstruction

Nipple-areola reconstruction is performed on women who have undergone mastectomy for breast cancer.

After the breast mound is reconstructed, and tissues are allowed to fully heal and settle, patients may undergo this procedure.

Patients desiring this procedure are seen in consultation by Dr. Casso. Options for surgery are discussed.

The nipple-areola reconstruction procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital.

They patient is marked in the standing position by Dr. Casso, and the appropriate positioning of the nipple is determined after communicating with the patient.

The patient is then taken to the operating room, and general anesthesia is induced.

Incisions are made on the breast mound, and a nub of tissue is elevated and folded upon itself. This tissue becomes the nipple.

Outer layers of skin are removed in a circular pattern around the nipple. A skin graft is then harvested from the groin crease, where skin is typically a bit darker. This wound is closed with sutures.

The skin is then applied to the circular defect around the nipple and secured with sutures and gauze.

The wound is then dressed.

Patients go home in the afternoon after surgery.

Pain is minimal.

Patients are seen in the office after surgery. Sutures are removed in about a week.

Patients may return to light work soon after surgery. Vigorous activity is discouraged for about a month.

Over time, as the wounds heal and scars fade, the reconstructed nipple-areolar complex can look remarkably normal.

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