3D Nipple Tattoos & Nipple Reconstruction Surgery

3D nipple tattoos are real tattoos, applied with needles that insert pigment into the skin. An experienced nipple tattoo artist can create an amazingly realistic image of a nipple that appears to have physical dimension but is really flat to the touch.

Benefits of 3D Nipple Tattoos & Nipple Reconstruction Surgery

What Is Nipple Tattooing

The nipple tattoo, or tittoo as it is occasionally known, is a body trend which gained widespread recognition in 2013. It is a type of tattoo which appears on the areola and is semi-permanent. Nipple tattooing has its origins as a medical procedure for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Benefits Of Nipple Tattooing

Adding a nipple to a reconstructed breast can have an immediate and profound visual effect, helping the breast look more normal again. New nipples can also draw attention away from the scars, lopsidedness, indentations and other imperfections of surgery.

Nipple restoration can be an important final step in breast reconstruction for women who’ve undergone a mastectomy. At Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery, we understand that this journey will not be the same for everyone. That’s why we offer our patients a variety of options, from noninvasive temporary products to nipple reconstruction surgery.

Additionally, Northwestern is the first and only practice in Chicago to offer 3D nipple tattooing. Watch the video below to learn more about Jeff Paetzold and his 3D tattoo services. Afterward, browse our 3D nipple tattoo before and after photos to see some of the amazing results we’ve helped our patients achieve.

Nipple Plastic Surgery

Nipple plastic surgery, also known as nipple reconstruction, is an outpatient surgical procedure used to create new nipples. During this procedure, the surgeon uses skin, either from the breast or other regions of the body, to form a protrusion in the shape of a nipple.

While nipple reconstruction isn’t for everyone, it can create very realistic, satisfactory results for many women. Take a look at some of the reconstruction techniques our surgeons utilize at Northwestern.



Local Flap Reconstruction

In a local flap procedure, skin from the breast is lifted to build a new nipple. This skin creates a nipple mound with two small scars off to each side. Oftentimes, this incision can be placed in the same place as your mastectomy scar. Pigmentation tattooing is often combined with this technique to help camouflage the scar.

Skin Grafting

In skin grafting, skin from a different area of the body is removed and used to recreate a nipple. This leaves a scar at the donor site, so it is not our preferred method for reconstruction. However, it can be beneficial in unique cases.

Nipple Autograft

This procedure is an option if you have retained your native nipple-areola complex on the opposite breast and your native nipple has adequate volume. Nipple tissue from the native side is harvested and grafted to your reconstructed breast. This reduces the volume of your native nipple but does not leave any perceivable scars. The nipple tissue graft has the skin tone and texture of your native nipple, so it offers a great option for matching. This procedure is combined with tattooing to recreate the areola.

What to Expect During the Procedure

What to Expect During the Procedure

Nipple reconstruction is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll be able to return home after your surgery. You will receive local anesthesia to numb the area. In some cases, you may also receive relaxation medication for your own peace of mind. In total, the procedure takes between 20 minutes and an hour to complete.

3D Nipple Tattoos & Areola Restoration

A 3D tattoo can create the appearance of a projecting nipple without one actually being reconstructed. This option is popular for patients who do not want to go through another surgical procedure or for patients who have had radiation breast cancer treatment and surgery poses a healing risk.

What to Expect

During your appointment, our artist will examine your nipple and areola to perform skin tone and size matching. Once this process is complete, our artist will likely be able to tattoo you the same day.

The Artist

It all started when we realized medical-grade tattoos just weren’t good enough. That’s when we knew we needed to add a tattoo artist’s expertise to the breast reconstruction journey. Northwestern is committed to representing expertise across the spectrum of breast surgery care, and we are proud to be the only practice in Chicago to offer 3D nipple and 3D areola tattoos.

Temporary Options

Temporary Options

In many cases, our patients are interested in nipple restoration but aren’t ready to make a commitment to tattooing or surgery. In these cases, we’re happy to recommend temporary options that can help you feel like yourself again while you decide on more permanent solutions. Take a look at some of our recommendations.

Temporary Tattoos

Temporary nipple and areola tattoos are a great choice for anyone who’s unable to pursue surgery due to medical requirements or personal preference. Temporary tattoos can also help you decide on color and placement for permanent tattooing. At Northwestern, we highly recommend Rub-On Nipples temporary tattoos to our patients.

Prosthetic Nipples

Prosthetic nipples are another great option for women looking for natural-looking results without surgery. They can be worn during and after breast reconstruction and stay in place during normal daily activities, including workouts, intimacy, bathing, and even swimming. High-quality prosthetics are crafted from skin-safe silicone and can be customized to match your natural nipple. At Northwestern, we highly recommend Naturally Impressive prosthetic nipples.

Schedule A Consultation

Schedule A Consultation

When you’re ready to take the final step in the breast reconstruction journey, trust the board-certified experts at Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery. We’re proud to be the only practice in Chicago to offer both 3D nipple tattooing and nipple reconstruction surgery.

To learn more about nipple reconstruction options, contact us at (312) 266-6240 to schedule your consultation.

What Our
Patient’s Say

Jeff is an artist and returned my confidence back to me!

- Jess. C

Contact Us Today!

Northwestern Specialists
Plastic Surgery

676 N St Clair Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday-Friday 8a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: closed

The Med Spa Streeterville

676 N St Clair Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday: 8a-6p
Tuesday-Thursday: 8a-7p
Friday: 9a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: closed

The Med Spa River North

3 E Huron Street, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday-Thursday: 10a-7p
Friday 9a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

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