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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2009

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 5/2009

Aesthetic Quality of the Nipple–Areola Complex in Breast Reconstruction with a New Local Graft Technique

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery > Ausgabe 5/2009
Márcio Paulino Costa, Marcus Castro Ferreira



Reconstruction of the nipple–areola complex (NAC) is the last stage of breast reconstruction and represents the search for symmetry in regard to the contralateral breast. The objective of this study was to present an areola reconstruction technique with local skin graft to improve the texture and aspect of the reconstructed areola, searching for a natural look.


This technique was performed on 122 patients who in the period from January 2000 to December 2005 were submitted to nipple and areola reconstruction. Once the position of the new nipple was determined, markings were made for the reconstruction of the areola. Then the external limit of the new areola was incised and the skin was centripetally deepidermized up to 85% of its diameter. After this procedure the detached skin was repositioned in its bed as a graft and sutured with 4.0 mononylon thread. Incisions with an 11-blade scalpel were then made in V and C forms associated with the detachment of this skin of the receptor area along the local graft so that at the end of the healing process they would determine alterations in the areolar texture mimicking the texture of a normal areola. All patients underwent tattooing 3 months after reconstruction of the NAC taking into account the different shades of the contralateral areola and nipple colors.


The use of a local skin graft associated with C and V incisions allowed alteration in the texture of the reconstructed areola. The use of different ink shades for tattooing helped to give a tridimensional aspect to this areola. These factors determined a good aesthetic result in these patients.


This areola reconstruction using a local skin graft allows change in the areola texture and a tridimensional aspect similar to that of a normal areola without the inconvenience of grafting from a distance.

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