I am pretty tired these days, and
I'm not sure how accurately I can convey how thoroughly
ready I am to be done with this crap. Really,
though, I regret not getting better documentation of the
whole expander portion of my breast reconstruction (I
still feel it's important for people to have the option
to see these procedures or treatments) so here it is...
the photographic diary of my nipple reconstruction.
Please excuse me if my witty banter falls a bit flat
these days... so tired... bleargh.
Many people (myself
included) are curious as to how a plastic
surgeon might construct a reasonably nipply-looking
nipple when there is not a nipple to be had.
Apparently the process starts by making the
nubby part. For future reference, nipply-looking
and nubby part are both completely recognizable
words, usable in both Scrabble and all modern
literature, and you will be highly regarded by
the scientific health community if you use them
Anyhow... moving on... the
nubby part of the nipple is formed by cutting a
sort of flattened tin can shape out of your
breasty flesh and this shape is then sewn
together to form the nub. You're welcome
to flatten out tin cans at home to see this
process in reverse action. It might help.
While the presence of the
nubby part does much to indicate a nipple, I
have it on good authority from my plastic
surgeon that a grafted-on areola is also
important to the overall effect. The skin
that will be my areola was taken from just
around my pelvic/hip area on either side... they
use only a small circle but it's removed in a
sort of eye shape so that the incision can be
closed with less puckering.
I would hate to see the
more puckery version. Seriously, though,
this is right in the fold where my leg meets my
hip, I doubt I'll even see a scar in a couple of
After a wild night of
celebrating the Fake Boob Fiesta, tiny skin
sombreros can often be found littering the floor
of the establishment. No, wait... that's
not a skin sombrero, it's my new nipple!
Since I was under anyway,
the doctor also removed my port. This
makes me kind of sad... I kind of felt like a
borg. Also I'm convinced that vein-ready
caffeine is going to happen any day now, and now
I won't be prepared.
Tiny skin sombreros tend
to come in pairs...
... and also in size
large. Or close-up. Whatever.
After your new nipples
have been properly affixed to your chest, the
doctor covers them with tiny spongy nipple bundt
cakes. For protection and stuff.
Spongy nipple bundt cakes
also come in pairs...
... and size large.
I felt pretty good right
after surgery, but I always "feel good" when I'm
trying to get out of the hospital and back home
to my pets. I swiped an extra sandwich and
some saltines... it's sad when your cupboards
are so bare that you're excited about hospital
food, heh. Those faint lines under my
foobs were drawn on to help position my new
nipples, by the way. I think that someday
I'll actually have a boobish crease there if I
work at it.
So... my reconstructive
surgery was at 7:45am and that night (just past
midnight or one, so possibly even the next
morning if you think that way, which I don't) my
nipple decided to spring a leak. I woke up
my doctor and he said to just keep an eye on it
and it would probably be fine... so I did and it
was. I felt bad to wake him up, but really
it would be sad to die of politeness.
The truly hilarious part
was that earlier that day my roommate had napped
in my bed (I was being loud in the other room)
with his pants on, and apparently some change
fell out of his pockets. This isn't so
hilarious in itself, but when I stumbled out of
bed holding my soiled pillow in one hand and a
quarter in the other with some kind of
drugged-up story about not realizing there was a
boob blood fairy, it was hi-larious. HI-larious.
Maybe it was the drugs. Anyway, if there
is a boob blood fairy, I am owed some serious
The other nipple was fine,
which is somewhat anti-climactic.
Note: I have no photos
yet, but I'm fairly proud of what I feel is an
absolutely brilliant idea... I picked up some
nursing bras at Goodwill and used these to hold
my bandages in place. No more tape to be
allergic to; whenever I need to change the
dressings I just unhook the cup, swap out the
bandage, and fasten everything back up.
UPDATE: A week later, the
bandages (spongy nipple bundt cakes) come off.
As you can (faintly) see in this photo, I now
have what passes for nipples through a somewhat
A better view of the
"through the sheer shirt" nipple. This
shirt looks fancy, but it's super soft and the
doctor warned that I should always have a soft
bra or undershirt on to protect my new
nipples... apparently they're fragile.
My right nipple... looks
kind of like a nipple. My old nipples were
very large and uneven and one of them was
inverted; even red and angry these nipples are a
visual improvement, heh.
My left nipple... even the
plastic surgeon joked that the tattoo
positioning makes it look as though the dragon
is eating this one and... erm... doing what one
does after eating something with the other one.
Pffft. After everything is healed I hope
to tattoo each nipple with a cherry blossom to
blend them in with the rest of the tattoo.
I'd also like to cover a couple of my scars, but
it just isn't in my budget.