New york City, NY

Nipple Tattoo


Nipple Tattoo

Nipple tattoos can be a decisive step in reclaiming your body image, especially after life-changing events such as mastectomy or gender-affirming surgery. This procedure involves embedding pigment onto the areolas to enhance their symmetry and color consistency, providing a natural look that can boost your self-esteem. It’s a personal journey that requires understanding, empathy, and professional guidance. We recognize that the decision to undergo such a procedure is not taken lightly. It involves carefully considering various factors, including the potential physical and emotional impacts, the expertise of the medical professional, and the expected outcomes. Rest assured, Dr. Henderson and his dedicated medical staff are committed to supporting you every step of the way. They bring a wealth of experience and a patient-centered approach to ensure your unique needs and preferences are met.

woman in lace bra | Henderson Breast Reconstruction New York

What is a Nipple Tattoo?

Nipple tattooing, or areola pigmentation, is a transformative process that involves the application of pigment to the areolas, the dark circular regions surrounding the nipples. This method is frequently used to enhance the symmetry and color uniformity of the areolas, providing a natural appearance that can elevate one’s body image and self-confidence. The procedure incorporates a distinctive 3D areola pigmentation technique, where a skilled practitioner uses a specific pigment to create the illusion of a naturally shaped areola. The outcome is a 3D-like effect closely resembling a realistic nipple and areola.

In the realm of gender-affirming breast procedures, nipple tattoos hold a significant place. They are prevalent among top surgery patients who have either had their nipples removed during surgery or wish to modify the size, shape, and color of their nipple grafts. Nipple tattoos can form part of a reactive or proactive approach to top surgery. The reactive approach refers to patients seeking to rectify complications from their surgery, such as addressing unwanted scarring or tissue death, like the non-survival of nipple grafts. The proactive approach to nipple and areola tattooing involves giving patients the choice to plan on receiving hyper-real, 3D nipple and areola tattoos to bypass surgical nipple grafting entirely. This option might be ideal for those desiring the visual presence of nipples on their chest but not interested in the aftercare and risk of complications associated with nipple grafting.

For patients in New York City, including those seeking consultation with Dr. Henderson, nipple tattoos can serve as an empowering culmination of their journey, whether that entails refining the final appearance of their breast following aesthetic reconstruction or achieving a sense of closure after overcoming breast cancer.

What are the Benefits of Nipple Tattoo?

Nipple tattoos in New York City offer several benefits. Primarily, they give individuals a realistic appearance that helps restore self-esteem and body confidence. The sense of empowerment and closure contributes to emotional healing. For those who have undergone a mastectomy, an experienced tattoo artist can match the shape, color, and texture of the existing nipple. This less invasive procedure can help most patients avoid alternative surgeries. In addition to a short recovery time, you can also customize your nipple tattoo to express your style.

Who are the Best Candidates for Nipple Tattoo?

Nipple tattoos from our New York City practice are suitable for individuals who have undergone breast reconstruction with an implant or tissue flap. This includes patients in the trans or non-binary community who have had top surgery, breast cancer survivors, or those with scars and burns. Some individuals choose nipple tattooing to enhance the natural appearance of their nipples. However, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. For instance, if radiation treatments have damaged your skin or your breast skin is overly thinned due to tissue removal during the procedure.

What’s the first step?

The first step to getting a nipple tattoo after breast reconstruction typically involves a consultation with your healthcare provider or tattoo artist. For those seeking treatment in the New York City area, you’ll discuss your ideal size, pigment colors, and placement with the HBR staff. After reviewing the area, your tattoo artist will create a plan based on your preferences, scar tissue amount, skin thickness, and variables like your scar pattern. If you had reconstruction surgery on one of your breasts, only the area that will be tattooed, as they can’t change the size or color of your other natural areola or nipple. 

What to Expect on the Day of Nipple Tattoo Surgery

On the day of your nipple tattoo procedure, arrive on time with clean skin, wearing loose-fitting clothing and a bra or camisole to assist with post-surgery bandages. You’ll review the placement, pigment colors, and size with Dr. Henderson during the procedure. He will use an oscillating tattoo needle to insert the pigment into the skin, creating the nipple and areola. 

Electric tattoo machines use oscillating tattoo needles to allow precise control while inserting ink into the skin. These needles are soldered into the rod and attached to the oscillating unit, rapidly driving them in and out of the skin. Once completed, your skin will be wrapped in plastic or a bandage to seal any ink or fluid from the tattoo site.

Nipple Tattoo Recovery

After a nipple tattoo procedure, there are several stages of recovery. Immediately after the procedure, you’ll receive a waterproof plastic dressing that allows you to shower normally. After approximately four days, gently remove the dressing and clean the area. Applying non-scented white lotion is recommended. Healing typically takes seven to ten days, although individuals with thinner skin may need a few weeks. During the healing process, avoid soaking in a bath, hot tub, or pool until the tattoo is completely healed, which could take up to 2 weeks. If a scab or crust forms, refrain from peeling it off, as it could affect the ink. Additionally, avoid lifting heavy objects or strenuous exercise while the tattoo is scabbing.

Breast augmentation cost

How much does a Nipple Tattoo cost in New York City, NY?

The cost of a Nipple Tattoo in New York City can depend on the specific treatment and the individual’s unique needs and preferences. It’s always best to consult your healthcare provider for a more accurate estimate based on your financial situation.  In general, the cost of this procedure at Henderson Breast Reconstruction can vary widely based on the complexity of the procedure, the facility location, the experience and reputation of your surgeon, the number of breasts tattooed, and the number of sessions.  


Why choose Dr. Henderson?

Dr. Peter W. Henderson is a highly recommended plastic surgeon for nipple tattoo procedures. His extensive educational background and double-board certification in reconstructive plastic surgery and microsurgery demonstrate his commitment to excellence. Dr. Henderson holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, a medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He is affiliated with prestigious organizations such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the American Board of Surgery (ABS),  the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American College of Surgeons (FACS), the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS), the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons (NSPS), and the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYRSPS). Dr. Henderson refined his skills through a fellowship in reconstructive microsurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) and Director of Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. 

Nipple Tattoo FAQ’S

Schedule a Consultation

Booking a consultation with Dr. Peter Henderson is very straightforward. To get started, just contact our warm and welcoming team at (212) 844-8180. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment directly through our patient portal on the website. During your phone call or online scheduling, you’ll have the opportunity to select a suitable time for your consultation, address any initial queries, and find out what documents or information you need to prepare.

Schedule a Consultation

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