Nipple Prosthetics 101 Everything You Need to Know
Did you even know that nipple prosthetics are a thing? As a fellow breast cancer patient and survivor, I knew right away after my breast reconstruction that my real nipples were no longer going to be a part of my body and that nipple reconstruction or nipple tattoos would be the way I would need to go for replacing this part of me. So let’s go there. Let’s cover all the options that can replace the real nipples that used to be there with short-term and long-term opportunities to improve your body image and feel confident after breast surgery.
Nipple Prosthetics, aka Fake Nipples, What Are They?
Not all breast reconstruction surgeries are nipple sparing mastectomy surgeries, so that leaves some breast cancer patients and survivors without their real nipples. That’s the bad news. The good news, thanks to incredible fellow patients and survivors, replacing your real nipples with fake nipples is a thang! You can get nipple tattoos that are permanent and last a life time by working with an accredited nipple tattoo artist. You can get temporary nipple tattoos with companies like NippleBack, and even have a little fun doing it. I always recommend test-driving a few different nipple shapes and sizes with temporary tattoos before committing to the long-term tattoo just to be sure. And worries about tattoos, have no fear, you can get 3d nipple prosthetics with Pink Perfect!
Pink Perfect makes custom nipple or nipples prosthetics that are made of silicone and mostly intended for Breast Cancer survivors who were treated for breast cancer with a mastectomy. Prostheses can be worn weeks after a mastectomy, breast reconstruction, or even nipple reconstruction. As an inexpensive and convenient alternative to surgery, because survivors may choose to wear them anytime during treatment. Pink Perfect nipples can be worn many times and can hold on the reconstructed breast for more than a week. Have a remaining nipple? Colors and sizes can match your real nipple to feel complete.
Michelle Kolath-Arbel Survivor, CEO & Founder of Pink Perfect tells us who nipple prosthetics work best for.
"Our readymade nipples are best for bilateral because survival and our custom made option are best for unilateral (then I copy the remining nipple) or for any special request (size, color, piercing…anything)."
We ask Michelle what her favorite part about making custom nipple prosthetics for breast cancer survivors is?
"The feeling I'm changing lives and make because survivors feel sexy and confident after such a crazy life changing journey. I'm very moved by hearing feedbacks about my patients getting their intimacy back with their husbands or dating other people.
It's already known by research that women's well-being after breast cancer has a direct influence on life expectancy."
Michelle also said that If she could tell others one thing about Pink Perfect's nipples, is that "my nipples are extremely realistic, soft and thin and can confuse even doctors by their look & feel."
Source: Pink Perfect
Types of Nipple Prosthetics
If you decide to get a fake nipple off-the-shelf or have a custom made nipple prosthetic, there are many colors, shapes, and sizes to chose from. Visit a local mastectomy boutique (we love recommending those that support and carry AnaOno on our store locator page) and give them a chance to try on and see what you feel most comfortable with. Plastic surgeons can also work with you to rebuild your nipple with nipple reconstruction, and this is worth exploring if your medical team feels you are a good candidate. Not sure if you want to make it permanent? I get it. I had a mastectomy tattoo done instead of nipples, but I do still occasionally have fun with my Pink Perfect custom nipples and when I really want to make a statement, my Just Nips (check them out….sometimes you gotta just put them out there!)
Where to Buy Nipple Prosthetics
Check out your local mastectomy boutique or call our partners on our store locator page. Most mastectomy boutiques will have beautiful options to choose from, from silicone nipples, nipple prosthetics, and even nipple tattoos, some insurance’s may even cover the prosthetic, so be sure to ask! You can also get you fake nipples from Pink Perfect or Just Nips if you want a quick and more private way to find a replacement for the real nipples that were lost during a mastectomy surgery.
Can you get fake nipples after breast cancer?
Yes! If you lost your nipples during the mastectomy and/or reconstruction process, there are many options to replace your real nipples, from 3d silicone nipples, to fun fake nipples, to nipple tattoos, and even nipple reconstruction using your own skin and tattoo techniques for coloring.
Are Nipple Prosthetics Covered by Insurance?
Most insurances will cover a prosthetic for your missing nipples if you have undergone a mastectomy surgery. We recommend to meet with a certified mastectomy fitter and mastectomy boutique to understand your coverage and any required out of pocket costs.