Three-Dimensional Nipple-Areola Tattooing

  • Joseph A. Ricci
  • Eric G. HalvorsonEmail author


The technique of three-dimensional (3D) nipple-areola complex (NAC) tattooing is a significant advance in obtaining improved esthetic results for women undergoing breast reconstruction. The application of 3D techniques or “realism” in tattoo artistry has significant potential to improve the esthetic outcomes of reconstructive surgery. Traditional coloring techniques for NAC tattooing ignore the artistic principles of light and shadow to create depth on a two-dimensional surface. The method presented in this article is essentially the inverse of traditional technique and results in a more realistic and 3D reconstruction that can appear better than surgical methods. When combined with surgical nipple reconstruction in appropriate patients, excellent results can be achieved. Overall, plastic surgeons have just begun to explore the possible applications of medical tattoos in plastic surgery that may allow us to enhance the esthetic results of not only breast reconstruction but other areas alike.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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