Nipple Reconstruction

While breast reconstruction can recreate a breast shape, the final aesthetic in any breast, natural or reconstructed, is the nipple-areolar complex. If the nipple is removed as part of your breast cancer surgery, nipple reconstruction can restore a three-dimensional nipple as the final step in your breast reconstruction.

Nipple Reconstruction

Dr. Michael Halls is a board certified plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist serving women in the San Diego area and beyond during his more than 25 years in active practice. In addition to breast and nipple reconstruction, Dr. Halls also offers a full range of cosmetic breast enhancement procedures.

Please contact us online or call La Jolla Breast Institute today at (858) 458-0100 to schedule your nipple reconstruction consultation.

Why Choose Dr. Halls

Dr. Halls graduated with honors from the University of Western Ontario in Canada before continuing his education with seven further years of training in plastic surgery, spending two of those years at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Halls was a former Chief of Staff at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Dr. Halls also serves the San Diego area as the chairman and co-founder of Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS). He holds active memberships in a number of breast and plastic surgery societies, and has published multiple papers in prestigious medical journals and texts throughout his career, including his own research on performing a new type of immediate breast reconstruction surgery, the SIDA procedure, that reduces breast surface scars after a mastectomy.

Dr. Halls founded La Jolla Breast Institute so women would have access to the best possible combination of technical skill, professional guidance and patient education in a supportive, relaxed environment. Dr. Halls’ continued focus on a patient-first approach combined with his considerable medical expertise has elevated him to the top of his field.

About Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple reconstruction takes place a few months after your reconstructive breast surgery or the completion of any additional cancer treatments like radiation. Reconstructing the nipple can be performed after either implant based reconstruction or tissue based reconstruction.

The repair and reconstruction of your nipple is a two-part process that begins with the physical recreation of a three-dimensional nipple, and is completed with tattooing of your new nipple to match the pigment on the nipple-areolar complex of your natural breast.

There are different surgical techniques Dr. Halls may use to recreate a nipple on your reconstructed breast. Existing breast skin and tissue can be cut into a special incision pattern and is then folded into a nipple shape. In some cases, the nipple may be augmented by additional material to improve projection, such as acellular dermal matrix or injectable dermal filler.

The new nipple is held in place with stitches, healing into a similar shape and profile as your existing nipple. After the nipple reconstruction has fully healed, usually about 3 months later, skin around the reconstructed nipple can be tattooed to look like a natural nipple and areola.

Both the nipple reconstruction and the tattooing are performed as brief outpatient procedures. However, this seemingly small touch can deliver an exponentially improved cosmetic appearance to your reconstructed breast, along with an improvement in self-image.


Visiting our patient photo gallery to see real women before and after undergoing nipple reconstruction and nipple repair can give you a better idea of what kind of results you can expect to see after your own surgery. You can also find answers to commonly asked questions about breast and nipple reconstruction in our Breast Reconstruction FAQs.

Nipple Reconstruction Pricing

The cost of nipple reconstruction and repair will vary depending on the complexity of the approach Dr. Halls takes during surgery and a number of other considerations.

While Dr. Halls’ staff will go over your surgical costs in more detail after your consultation, you should be aware that insurance coverage for breast reconstruction is mandated by federal law. The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires the coverage of any necessary reconstruction procedures by insurance companies that provide coverage for your mastectomy. This includes nipple reconstruction and repair, as well as any treatments that Dr. Halls recommends to improve symmetry between breasts. Dr. Halls’ staff will help you to gather any necessary documentation that’s required by your insurance provider for coverage.

Recovery & Results

Since nipple reconstruction is normally performed as an outpatient procedure, recovery time tends to be minimal, with most women back to their normal routines the next day and fully recovered by about 2 weeks after surgery. Recovery after the tattoo portion of nipple reconstruction is immediate and requires no downtime.

Your reconstructed nipple should lend a more natural look to your reconstructed breast, as well as help you feel less self-conscious about the aesthetic asymmetry between the reconstructed and natural breast. Many women feel that nipple reconstruction provides the finishing touch at the end of their breast cancer journey, and feel a sense of closure and wholeness once nipple reconstruction is completed.