Corrective surgery may be necessary following breast reconstruction in the short or longer term. In a reconstruction, we use modern surgical techniques to try to mimic the healthy breast as much as possible. If necessary, symmetrisation surgery should be considered in order to match the shape and size of the healthy breast. After reconstructing the shape of the breast, and performing any necessary adjustments on the opposite side, reconstruction of the nipple is planned.
Immediately after the breast reconstruction, the breast is commonly much higher than usual and also feels very tight. A certain amount of time must be allowed before the reconstructed breast reaches the right position. In general, therefore, patients need to wait for a period of at least three months before a symmetrisation procedure can be carried out. This can be in the form of a breast lift, breast reduction or breast enlargement procedure. Most surgeons prefer to reconstruct the nipple after the symmetrisation procedure. Incorrect positioning of the nipple can be avoided in this way.
To complete the breast reconstruction, the nipple is reconstructed. Different techniques are used for the reconstruction of the areola. The decisive factors are the colour and size of the opposite areola and the individual preferences of the patient. One option is a skin graft from the groin. The colour of the areola arises from the transplant because the skin on the inside of the thigh usually has dark pigmentation. It is also possible to achieve a similar effect by tattooing the areola. In some very light-skinned women, the effect of an areola can be achieved through dermabrasion and subsequent ultraviolet irradiation.
The procedure to reconstruct the nipple is short and involves minor surgery. Depending on the method chosen, it can be carried out under local anaesthesia on an outpatient basis.