During a mastectomy or breast reconstruction procedure, the nipple and areola may need to be removed. Once the patient’s breast reconstruction is complete, plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy Mountcastle offers nipple and areola reconstruction with cosmetic tattooing that can recreate the appearance of the nipple and areola on the breast(s). At Mountcastle Plastic Surgery in Northern Virginia, Dr. Mountcastle uses a variety of pigments to tattoo the most realistic nipple and areola. When tattooing only one nipple, Dr. Mountcastle matches the remaining nipple as best he can. If both nipples are being tattooed, an image of the breasts before the mastectomy can help Dr. Mountcastle get the best results. To see some of Dr. Mountcastle’s work in nipple reconstruction, you can visit the Breast Reconstruction section of the Photo Gallery.
"Very nice office, and courteous and helpful staff and surgeon!"- M.K. / Google / Mar 05, 2019
"This is the third time I've visited Amy for Botox treatments. Over the years I have had injections with many different people - including physicians, dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, etc. I can honestly say that Amy is the best. She really 'knows her stuff' and can fine-tune injection sites to obtain the best results or to correct a problem. The entire staff is very pleasant, polite, and makes one feel welcome. The office is tranquil and warm. Highly recommend!"- S.G. / Yelp / Mar 01, 2019
"Had botox by Amy... always so professional and she does an awesome job. I wouldn't trust anyone else for botox but Amy, she's amazing!! I've been going to Dr Mountcastle for many years now. I've had a breast reduction, upper eyelid reduction, spider vein treatment, fraxel laser, botox and more. The best place to go for the works... I've never had any complaints. Dr. Mountcastle's staff is incredible to, I'm going back in 2 weeks for eyelash dying and perm... can't wait!!!"- C.C. / Google / Feb 27, 2019
"I can’t say enough good things about this office. Melissa at the front desk is amazing and always made time for me when I needed it - and Amy, who does injections is very particular and skillful in her practice . Everything I have done here has been perfect and everyone is kind and patient, from the front desk , back.... and they have to be for me! Highly recommend."- K.P. / Google / Feb 27, 2019
"I LOVE Amy. She is amazing! I always have a wonderful experience here!"- M.A. / Yelp / Feb 15, 2019
Areola Tattoo Procedure
Nipple and areola tattooing can be performed in the doctor’s minor procedure room with local or no anesthesia. Without anesthesia, patients usually only feel the light prick of the tattoo needle. The doctor will carefully mix tattoo pigments to create the best shade and then the pigments will be added to the tattooing instrument for use. It usually takes about 15 minutes for one nipple, but more or less time may be needed depending on the detail the patient wants.
What to Expect
After the tattoo procedure, the treated area will be cleaned, then covered in ointment and surgical dressings. In the first days after the procedure, the area will emit a mixture of blood and ink into the gauze pads, which should be changed often. Once the tattoo scab comes off, you will be able to see the results of your new nipple(s) and areola(s). It may take more than one tattooing session to get your ideal coloring.
Plan Your Procedure
Areola Tattoo FAQs
3D Nipple Tattoos?
Thanks to advances in medical and tattooing technology, patients are able to get more realistic nipple tattoos. 3D nipple tattoos use a special technique of several pigment colors to shade and highlight the nipple so it appears to have projection from the breast. While the nipple tattoo will actually be flat, the goal is to make is look like it is 3-dimensional, like a natural nipple.
Does It Hurt?
Getting a nipple tattoo is generally no more painful than getting a tattoo anywhere else on the body, so many patients do not need anesthesia. However, local anesthesia and numbing cream are available to make your procedure more comfortable.
After the tattoo procedure, you should be careful to keep the tattoo clean and saturated with ointment. Gauze dressings should be changed often (every 2 – 3 hours) in the first days after the procedure. The ink and blood mixture may stain your clothing; so do not wear anything you love. The tattoo will appear very dark at first, but as the tattoo heals, the color will lighten.