Let’s talk nipples. After a unilateral or bilateral mastectomy, women are left with many choices. To reconstruct, fake it, or stay flat. It all comes down to personal preference. For women who decide to undergo breast reconstruction, the nipple stage can be the icing on the cake — the final step in piecing yourself back together. Though each woman’s reconstruction story is unique and personal, the nipple choices can be boiled down to three main options.
- Surgically reconstructed nipples
- 3D nipple tattoo
- Prosthetic nipples
For some women, the lack of nipples can be quite an emotional struggle. They may look in the mirror and see an unrecognizable image, one that does not look or feel “normal” or complete. Nipples can provide that aesthetic element that is missing and help to bring a sense of confidence during the difficult reconstruction process.
I am slated to have my implant exchange surgery in November and I am not interested in going through another surgery to reconstruct nipples. That leaves me with the choice of 3D tattoos or nipple prosthetics. While at the Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) conference last weekend, I finally got a chance to check out Pink-Perfect nipple prostheses, something I was enamored with since I saw them at the YSC conference back in March. They are just so COOL!
Pink Perfect produces realistic ready-made adhesive silicone nipples for women who have undergone unilateral or bilateral mastectomies. The silicone nipples were designed by a breast cancer survivor and are made by an artist to replicates the shape, size, color and texture of your remaining or original nipple (s) The nipples are waterproof and can be worn in the shower, ocean or swimming pool.
Pink Perfect offers a wide range of colors and projection options (modest, natural or bold). The color options are shown in the image below. I was matched to the color Sandy. If you don’t find a color that matches your body, Pink Perfect will work one-on-one with you to create a custom prosthetic nipple (s) that perfectly matches your body. The custom option is a bit more expensive.
The ready made colors/styles are available for $240 and the custom version is $330. All prices reflect a $40 discount offered for October only. My Cancer Chic followers can also apply a special promo code:mycancerchic to obtain an additional $25 off. Keep in mind that many insurance providers will cover prosthetic nipples. You will need to talk to your plastic surgeon to get a prescription, just like you would for mastectomy bras.
After trying the nipples, I was surprised by how easy they could be applied and how realistic they are. The medical grade adhesive allowed me to wear the nipples throughout a normal day, and while exercising and showering. I think the silicone nipples would be a wonderful option for anyone considering nipple reconstruction. They are pain free, less expensive than surgery and allow you the opportunity to see if nipples provide you a sense of emotional comfort or closure.
I am wearing the Sandy in Bold
After wearing the nipples for a few days, I realized that the nipples did not change the way I felt or the way I saw my body. They were super fun and kind of sexy, but my real nips are gone forever and will never be replaced. I will never be able to breastfeed and what was once a fun zone is now a cemetery. I found that I like being nipple-free. I love going bra-less and I have accepted my appearance post-surgery. It did not happen over night, but I am coming to love this new body of mine. I am rebuilding my own body image and for me, nipples just aren’t going to be a permanent part of the package. I am so grateful for the opportunity to try the prothestics to confirm my decision about not undergoing the nipple reconstruction surgery. Now I have the option to choose nipples like a fashion accessory each day and someday down the line I may get a 3D nipple tattoo.
If you’re interested in nipple reconstruction, I highly suggest you try the nipple prostheses first. If you want to avoid another surgery, these are a great alternative.
If you want to see how the nipple prostheses work and how to apply them, check out this awesome video by the lovely Aniela McGuinness of ‘My Breast Choice’. Also, if you haven’t seen her AMAZING photo series of before and after mastectomy photos, check them out here.
Disclaimer: I was provided with this product for free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by the company that provided this product.