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.
"I cannot say enough about Mountcastle Spa and Laser Center. Ashley is very gentle and thorough with the treatments on my veins. I cannot recommend Mountcastle enough! They have my total confidence and trust."- E.F. / Yelp / Nov 08, 2018
"Very impressed by Dr. Mountcastle and his team. My lipoma removal was quick easy and painless! I get queezy during medical procedures but they were quick to make sure I was comfortable and talked to me through the removal to the finish. I only wish I had knew about this place sooner and I'd have gone years ago."- A.B. / Yelp / Nov 05, 2018
"I am extremely pleased with the Sclerotherapy reatments I have received from Ashley. My legs look so much better and Ashley is very, very gentle. Her credentials are impeccable and her past medical experience really shows in the way she treats her clients."- R.P. / Yelp / Oct 30, 2018
"Dr. Mountcastle is very personable & knows what he is doing! He immediately made me feel at ease during my appointment and answered all my questions and concerns regarding an upcoming surgical procedure. His support staff is also top notch, and they all took plenty of time making sure all my questions were answered and explaining the procedures, etc. I was also seen right on time for my appointment. I highly recommend Dr. Mountcastle to anyone needing or wanting plastic surgery!"- M. / Google / Oct 30, 2018
"Dr. Mountcastle and his staff were very professional, efficient, and kind. Each one of them thoroughly explained the steps in the procedure and afterwards I was instructed how to care for the site, and also was given written instructions. I highly recommend Dr. Mountcastle and his staff."- J.B. / Google / Oct 30, 2018
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.