Hello to all concerned about nipple recon.
In my circle of breast cancer friends, I am the queen of the recon-nipples. I
have had two mastectomies two years apart. For my first nipple, I had a skin
graft from my belly for the extra tissue needed to try and achieve a convex
appearance. The aerolar area was tattooed with the color of my choice.
The next year I had a second mastectomy. My plastic surgeon suggested that a
skin graft may not provide the convex benefit as he had thought in the past.
He and his colleagues were successfully creating a nipple using a circular
incision and twisting the tissue to create a protrusion. I chose this
procedure and once the area was healed, I got my tattoo. The two nipples look
A few months later, I explained that my new chest continued to trouble me. The
tips of my bras were saggy. I wondered if a more convex appearance could be
created. So I tried the silicone nipple implants. These were inserted on top
of the muscle just under the skin. As a nurse, I should have known better !!!!
Dumb me, I did not feel the nipple implants in my hands prior to their
insertion. If I had I would never have had the procedure.
Once they were in, I felt like I had torpedoes that poked anyone I hugged. I
looked like I had one of those 1950's bras on, or like he bra Madonna wore in
her music video. It goes without saying that I had them removed under local
anethesia 6 months later. At the time I told my plastic surgeon to cease the
use of these things. I spoke with the company rep. who produced them and
suggested they have women feel them on a simulated breast if they plan to go
back to the drawing board.
Since my surgeries in 1993 and 1994, there are better all silicone implants on
the market for reconstruction patients only. I recently (10/98) had a
serious horse carriage accident in which my first implants (combination
silicone/saline Mentor HS implants) were smashed along with a number of my
bones. The saline part of the implants leaked but the silicone was intact. I
required surgery to replace the implants.
The McGhann Corporation is now producing all-silicone implants that have an
outer coating that actual creates a very normal feeling. My husband says they
feel like my real ones felt.This is good. Soooo, I've thrown away all of
my bras and am quite happy with soft and "yes, not so convex" reconstructed
Hope this helps............Diane Chase