Heart-Shaped Nipples is the newest breast modification trend. The procedure does not make your actual nipple heart-shaped. Instead, they modify the areola, the slightly dark skin that surrounds your nipples.
Getting heart-shaped nipples is relatively safe as long as it is done in a good setup and by an experienced tattoo artist or plastic surgeon.
Cancer and other patients who have undergone breast enhancement procedures are going for this procedure to help camouflage their scars.
If you love heart-shaped nipples and would love to get them, you are in the right place. Keep reading to find answers to your questions.
How is this procedure performed?
Based on the type of procedure, it can be performed either as a tattoo or nipple graft.
There are contradictions between plastic surgeons and tattoo artists performing heart-shaped nipples.
Many plastic surgeons discourage, condemn, and refuse to perform this procedure citing, a rise in infections, associated complications, and breast cancer in patients.
However, if you still want to remain fashionable and trendy, you can still get heart-shaped nipples tattoo from experienced tattoo artists and willing plastic surgeons in the market.
Make sure a certified and experienced plastic surgeon and tattooist performs your procedure. And the medical facility should be sterile and certified to minimize infections.
Let us now look at what happens during these two procedures.
A certified tattoo artist performs a nipple tattoo procedure.
Unlike nipple grafting, a nipple tattoo is less costly, carries fewer risks, and may not be permanent.
The type of Nipple tattoo commonly used include;
- 3d nipple tattoo: they are realistic image tattoos that appear to have physical dimensions but are flat when you touch them.
- Regular tattoo: a tattoo artist inserts pigment into the skin using special tattoo needles.
The procedure is just like getting a regular tattoo and may be painful due to the area’s sensitivity.
Your tattoo artist will change the color, size, and shape of the areola based on your preference.
Apart from having heart-shaped nipples, you can decide to have different nipple tattoo modifications to your breast areola like spider webs, flowers, stars, and more. If you are looking for more nipple tattoo ideas and designs, you can check some of the samples posted on Pinterest.
Plastic surgeons can perform nipple graft surgery to modify your nipples and areola into heart-shaped.
During this technique, your surgeon removes the outer layer of the nipple and replaces it with a graft from another body part.
Alternatively, your surgeon can remove the outer layer and reshape the inner skin to the way you desire.
Picture of heart-shaped nipple
Risks and complications associated with Heart-shaped nipples
Like any other body modification, heart-shaped nipples can have mild to severe complications.
Some of the common risks associated with Nipple Grafting includes:
- Reduction of nipple sensitivity.
- Bleeding and pain that does not stop
- Yellow or clear discharge
- Compromise the ability to breastfeed.
- Difficult in breastfeeding
- Reduced sensitivity on your nipples
- Modifications not coming out with the way you envisioned
How do you prepare for this procedure?
Once you have decided you want to have a heart-shaped surgery, do a consultation with your certified tattoo artist or plastic surgeon.
During the consultation, come with pictures of your desired outcome. Ask any question you have such as;
- What to expect during the healing process
- Taking care of your nipples after the procedure
- If your surgeon or tattoo artist has performed a similar heart-shaped procedure before
- Ask to see photos of patients your surgeon or tattoo artist has worked on before
- Costs associated
- Risks and complications associated
In case you have any piercings, ask your surgeon or tattoo artist if they may have interference and what to do about them.
What to expect after the procedure
Nipple tattoos are very painful due to the sensitivity of the area.
After a nipple graft surgery, a bandage is placed over the tattoo to avoid getting hurt. If you have undergone graft surgery, you will need to keep the area of your incision clean, dry, and covered to prevent an infection.
Your plastic surgeon may prescribe for you over-the-counter pain killers to help subsidize your pain after surgery.
He will also give you aftercare instructions on how to clean and change your bandage. Even though you might return to work after one or two days, it is recommended not to do heavy physical activities such as exercising until after one week.
After seven days, go back to your surgeon for a follow-up check to see your healing progress.
If there are no complications, you should be able to resume all your normal activities after six weeks.
Whether you have had a nipple tattoo or nipple graft, you need to keep the area as clean and dry as possible.
Your surgeon may advise you not to wear or avoid certain types of bras during the recovery process.
The recovery time for patients who have gone for a heart-shaped nipples tattoo is quicker than nipple graft surgery. In case you see anything unusual, report to your surgeon or tattoo artist immediately.
How much does nipple tattooing cost?
According to Breastcancer.org, the cost of having a nipple tattoo from an experienced tattoo artist is $350 for one nipple ($600-$800) for both nipples.
The cost for a nipple graft ranges from $600-5000.
Price may vary from one location to another, the tattoo artist’s experience, and if he is moving to your area or residence.
Some of the factors that can affect the cost of the procedure include;
- Practitioners or tattoo artist experience
- Cost of living around your location
- Where the surgery is conducted, either in a hospital setting or at home
- Method of anesthesia
Does insurance cover heart-shaped nipple surgery or tattoo?
A heart-shaped nipple is considered an elective body modification procedure, and most insurance firms do not cover it.
Some insurance firms such as Medicare often cover nipple tattooing. Surgeries performed in a hospital setting or plastic surgeon’s office, the facility can handle the insurance claim for you.
However, if an individual tattoo artist performs your procedure, you will be required to submit the claim by yourself.
The bottom line
Whether you are doing it for fun or have undergone a mastectomy, you might choose to have your nipple area tattooed or grafted into any shape, color, or design you want.
The color and shape of the tattoo may fade over time which may require some additional costs.
Consider this choice carefully and evaluate all your options before you decide to modify your nipples.
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- Breastcancer.org (Jan. 2021). Nipple Reconstruction Surgery and Tattoos. breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/nipple
- Healthline ( Oct. 2018). Heart-Shaped Nipples: What You Should Know. healthline.com/health/heart-shaped-nipples
- Zwivel ( Dec. 2017). Heart-Shaped Nipples: What Plastic Surgeons Think of This New Trend. zwivel.com/blog/heart-shaped-nipples/