WHAT IS AREOLA TATTOOING?
Areola tattooing, 3D nipple tattooing or areola micropigmentation, is a non-surgical procedure where the illusion of a 3-dimensional areola and nipple are created through a specialized medical tattoo. This quick and nearly painless procedure uses a variety of advanced micro-pigmenting techniques and medical ink to create a natural 3D areola.
For many breast cancer survivors, as well anyone who is in the process of undergoing gender confirmation surgery, areola tattooing is the final step in their reconstruction journey. It is a way for many people to recover physically and emotionally from their mastectomy and breast reconstruction scars. This procedure may also be performed to benefit anyone who has any irregularity in their areola color, or shape or scarring.
HOW LONG WILL RESULTS LAST?
Like any other tattoo, some fading of pigment is possible, especially over scars However, areola tattoos can often last a lifetime as the tattoo is less exposed to the sun.
ARE THERE POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS?
Complications from areola tattooing, while uncommon, can include: infection, allergic reactions, and additional scarring. Additionally, it is possible for certain areas of the skin to reject the pigment due to the effects of past trauma in the area (i.e., radiation, pre-existing scar tissue, etc.). Touch ups are sometimes required
IS A NIPPLE TATTOO COVERED BY INSURANCE?
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) is a federal law that requires group health plans and health insurance companies that offer mastectomy coverage to also pay for reconstructive surgery after mastectomy. The coverage should include all stages of reconstruction with the aim of achieving symmetry between the breasts.
Therefore, 3D nipple tattoos after mastectomy should be, and often are, covered by most insurance providers. If they’re not, we offer discounted pricing.
Insurance coverage and criteria vary by state, so it is best to check with your insurance provider first. We will provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company.
HOW IS AREOLA TATTOOING PERFORMED?
Prior to the start of your procedure the areola color and size are determined with the help of your provider. In cases where a single nipple is to be created to match an existing breast the artist can mix a wide variety of colors and shades to create a pigment match. For bilateral reco