Is Nipple Reconstruction Painful? How is the operation performed?

Tags:woman age 55-64 nipples pain breast cancer mastectomy

I have finished a majority of my mastectomy and have a nipple reconstruction coming up. Does it hurt? I am hoping that I am past the hard parts and this should be a breeze but my nerves are still getting to me. Can anyone share some expertise or experience that might calm me down?

melarsumss

F, 49, Pennsylvania

Congrats on coming this far in your journey as a survivor! Nipple reconstruction is easily the least painful of the procedures - often we do it under local and sometimes the skin is already numb from prior surgery. There is almost no postop pain and healing happens fairly rapidly in the first 3 weeks. 

Fun fact: when I practiced in Florida I was known for doing the "best nipples in town" with my C-V flap reconstruction technique. Very good projection, positioning and appearance. When combined with an expert medical aesthetician doing tattooing, we can create very convincing reconstructed nipples.

Best of luck!

For more info:

Most patients after mastectomy have some numbness on the breast, so that nipple reconstruction is actually not nearly as painful (and most times not painful at all).