Mayo Clinic surgeons recreate a nipple and areola (the darker-colored skin around the nipple) for nearly 80 percent of patients who choose to have breast reconstruction surgery.
Nipple reconstruction usually begins six to eight weeks after the breast reconstruction is completed. If the patient will have autologous (with the patient's own tissue) reconstruction, the process will begin when the surgeon can create a mound of tissue from the patient's skin.
The grafted nipple is usually the same color as the skin surrounding it. A tattoo may be applied to color the nipple and to create an areola. Both procedures are completed on an outpatient basis.