Areola restoration is a medical tattooing procedure also known as a form of Micropigmentation for breast cancer survivors who have completed surgical reconstructive process. It is the finishing touch to the breast reconstruction to help restore the natural beauty of the nipples and breasts. The procedure is done by implantation of color pigment into the dermal layer of the skin and recreate the nipple and areola using a permanent makeup machine. The 3D affect creates a natural and realistic appearance of a raised nipple and areola on flat skin post-mastectomy. This process is optional. However, people feel this procedure is important as it helps improve women and men self-esteem and regain confidence about themselves and their bodies.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
The first 15-30 minutes is to discuss any questions and concerns, complete consent forms, and take photos. Shape and color also be discussed prior to the placement of color pigments. Post-care instructions will be reviewed, and a hard copy will also be given to client.
WHEN SHOULD I GET DONE?
Plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting at least 4 months after breast reconstruction surgery to have nipple-areola restoration as this will give your skin tissues and breasts time to heal. Depending on the case, a clearance from the surgeon may be needed.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKES?
The initial session is about 1.5-2 hours. Follow-up session may needed to perfect color and shape. This appointment usually is about 30 minutes.
DOES IT HURTS?
Depending what type of breast reconstruction, there may be minimal to zero discomfort. Topical anesthesia can be used to reduce any discomfort.
DOES IT HURTS?
IS THE PROCEDURE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?
According to The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, group health plans and individual health insurance policies that offer mastectomy coverage are required to cover all stages of reconstruction surgery, including nipple-areola restorations. Medicare often covers nipple-areola tattooing, while Medicaid coverage varies from state to state. Please check your insurance for possible benefits. You will be responsible for out-of-pocket payment at date of service. An Insurance Letter and Patient Receipt form will be given to you to submit for reimbursement. The amount of reimbursement can vary.
HOW LONG DOES IT LASTS?
Nipple-areola can last up to several years. However, as color and shape start to fade, you may need to come back to a touchup. Time length for touchups varies depending on your skin and lifestyles.
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