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Nipple & Areola Reconstruction Surgery

Women can spend a lot of time focused on their nipples.

If they’re not matching the right bra and shirt to prevent their nipples from showing through, they’re internally asking whether their nipples are large enough to properly latch their babies. Sometimes, they just wonder if their nipples are the right size, shape, or colour, and often they have no one to ask for a satisfactory answer.

Dr Joseph Rizk, award-winning Sydney plastic surgeon, is a nipple and breast expert. As a breast surgeon with over 14 years of experience, he has performed surgeries on nipples (and breasts) in all shapes and sizes, and he is happy to give you the nipple anatomy that you want. The most common reasons for nipple surgery are mastectomy, weight loss, breast reductions, and breast reconstructions. In all three situations, the size and shape of your breasts will change. As a result, the position of your areola and nipple will shift.


At Rizk Plastic Surgery in Sydney nipple areola reconstruction is a surgical method of adjusting the size and shape of your nipple. It can be done as an individual operation, but it is most often undertaken as part of an overall breast surgery.

After the surgeon is happy with the size and shape of a new breast, he will attend to the nipple, making sure it matches the rest of the work he has done. When women have work done on their breasts, they are often worried that their bust looks fake. While they usually focus on size, shape, and drape, one of the clearest indicators of surgical breasts is the nipple. If it hangs wrong or sits in the wrong position, it can be quite disorienting.

This becomes more crucial because even though the rest of the world will see a woman’s blouse, dress, or bikini, her nipples are only viewed by herself, her partner, and possibly her children if she’s breastfeeding. This makes nipple work a far more personal undertaking since it affects her most intimate experiences.

Sydney nipple reconstruction model in a field of grass wearing underwear posing for a picture


During your consultation for nipple reconstruction Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Joseph Rizk will talk through the process with you and explain your options. Apart from the position, some of the nipple challenges Dr Rizk encounters are the inversion, protrusion, enlargement, or lack of symmetry. Dr Rizk can help with all these nipple problems.

If you have undertaken breast reconstruction surgery and are looking to complete a natural look for your breasts, nipple reconstruction surgery is ideal for you. And when it comes to nipple and areola reconstruction Sydney clinics like Dr Rizk’s give you full attention and exceptional service.

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There are a few common methods used for nipple and areola reconstruction. The first is tattooing, which will give you a pretty-looking nipple but won’t give you the physical experience of having an actual nipple. The second is nipple sharing, where nipple tissue from the woman’s healthy nipple is harvested and grafted.

This gives you the right feel, but there’s a slim chance that your new nipple may not be as attentive as it was before surgery. Plus, the process involves interfering with your healthy nipple, which means you might inadvertently wind up with decreased sensitivity in both your nipples. The implications of that can be undesirable for a woman’s sensual life.

For the areola, grafting skin from your thigh and vulva is an option because they have the same texture and colour as nipples. This method is risky though, so not many surgeons advocate for its use. It leaves your vulva with unpleasant scarring, and might even lead to hair growth on your reconstructed nipple. Areola tattooing is preferred.


Some doctors dangerously suggest banking. This means that during your mastectomy, areola skin is kept for grafting later. This is a high-risk, deeply unnecessary practice, and Dr Rizk advises against it.

For patients who have had mastectomies or natural disfigurement, there may be no nipples at all. In these cases, your breast surgeon would have to build you a new nipple altogether. One way to create the effect of a nipple is to work with a 3D medical tattooist. Under the supervision of your breast surgeon, he will craft you a beautiful, realistic-looking nipple.

Many surgeons partner with tattooists to give their patients that extra touch of post-surgery beauty and self-assurance. Usually, tattooing isn’t definitive on its own, so it can be combined with nipple reconstruction. In such cases, the tattoo artist helps to improve the nipple’s appearance by adding depth, visual texture, and matching the nipple and areola colour to the woman’s natural skin tone.

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In terms of breast surgery Sydney offers a variety of procedures under Dr Rizk. These include:


Another commonly used method, possibly the most common method, is the skin flap.

Your surgeon might begin by working on the skin at the base of your new nipple. He or she will deepithelialize your skin to give it the right texture. Your surgeon will then use fat grafts or fillers like AlloDerm and Radiesse to raise the nipple. In some patients, the new nipple flattens with time, so further fillers and grafts can be added later.

Sometimes, a surgeon rebuilds the nipple during mastectomy. He or she will use the excess skin exposed during surgery and carve it into a new nipple. The patient can later insert breast implants or fat grafts to give her breasts the fullness and roundness she lost during her mastectomy. Since this method of nipple reconstruction uses the woman’s own breast tissue, it offers higher nipple sensitivity than other types of reconstruction.

However, when the surgeon needs to fill out her cup size, he or she might have to shift the position of the nipple and areola. In such cases, you need a skilled surgeon like Dr Rizk to make sure you don’t lose the nipple sensitivity you had retained. If you are considering areola or nipple reconstruction surgery Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Rizk would be happy to help, so call his office on 1300 707 007 and book your consultation.

Dr Rizk advocates the National Law and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Dr Joseph Rizk became Australasia’s plastic surgeon of the year by making sure that each patient is heard, respected, and treated well. His patient-first approach provides you with the accurate medical information you need to make informed decisions about your course of treatment. At the same time, he offers his decades of knowledge and experience to help you along your path.

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