Nipple Tattooing

After a mastectomy, breast reconstruction can help patients look and feel like themselves again. A nipple tattoo is one way to put the finishing touches on your breast reconstruction.

Tandon Plastic Surgery is proud to offer nipple tattooing in New Orleans, LA, for breast reconstruction patients.

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What Is Nipple Tattooing?

Nipple tattooing involves creating a lifelike nipple and areola onto a woman's breast as part of the reconstruction process. While this step of the reconstruction process is completely optional, some women feel as though their breasts are incomplete without nipples and areolas. Nipple tattoos can help you focus less on what is missing, distract from scars, and significantly improve your self-image.

Dr. Ravi Tandon works closely with an artist who specializes in medical tattoos to provide women with this service.

While many patients view nipple reconstruction and tattooing to be an important final step in the breast reconstruction process, not everyone does. The choice is completely up to you whether you want to undergo one or both procedures and you can take your time deciding. Our Metairie plastic surgeon serving New Orleans is here to inform you of your options and guide you through the process should you decide to move forward with nipple tattoos and/or nipple reconstruction.

Put the Finishing Touch on Your Reconstruction Request a Consultation Today

Whether you've recently undergone a mastectomy and you're exploring breast reconstruction options or you're curious about developments in the field after undergoing reconstruction years ago, Dr. Ravi Tandon is here to walk you through your options. He can help you determine if nipple tattooing with a medical tattoo artist or another option would help you achieve the look you desire.

To learn about the reconstruction options available to you, we invite you to reach out to our Metairie plastic surgery office serving the Greater New Orleans area.

(504) 455-1000

Providing Warm, Professional Care to Greater New Orleans


Kelly McCord

Metairie, LA


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Empathetic, kind, detailed oriented, patient, meticulous, highly skilled surgeon, these are some of the many traits of Dr. Tandon! His office staff are also just as wonderful as he is. Always professional and kind! I would highly recommend Dr. Tandon and his team for your plastic surgery needs.

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Katrina Pelrean

Metairie, LA


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Dr. Tandon is the best Plastic surgeon there is. His bedside manner is very professional...his concern for his patients is super. He have the best staff of ladies working for him they are very friendly and professional. Should you need plastic surgery, I recommend you to call Dr. Ravi Tandon, MD.

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Paying for Your Medical Tattoos

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHRCA) requires that insurance providers cover all stages of breast reconstruction. Nipple and areola tattooing is included in this. Our Metairie office serving New Orleans is proud to accept most insurances and our friendly staff will assist you through the filing process.

Candidacy for Nipple Tattooing

Fully Healed

While you may still have scars from your mastectomy and reconstruction, candidates for this medical tattoo should be fully healed. Dr. Tandon and his New Orleans team will let you know when you're ready for the next step.

Healthy Skin

Damage to or thinning of the breast skin after radiation or surgery can change the way your tissue handles tattooing. Tattooing may also cause infection or inflammation in certain patients. Your care team will determine if your skin is healthy enough for tattooing.

Realistic Expectations

While a tattoo is a great way to make your breasts look more natural, the tattoo won't look exactly like your natural nipple. Unless you undergo nipple reconstruction, your tattoo will be flat, but it will created to look 3D.

The Breast Reconstruction Timeline

If you choose to reconstruct your breasts, your treatment can include several elective procedures:
A tattooed nipple can give a focal point to your breast and help you accept your reconstruction as part of your body.
A tattooed nipple can give a focal point to your breast and help you accept your reconstruction as part of your body.

Breast Reconstruction

Dr. Ravi Tandon can use implants or tissue from a donor site to recreate one or both breasts after a mastectomy or double mastectomy. Breast and nipple resensation may also be completed during this stage.

Nipple Reconstruction

Nipple reconstruction surgery uses skin from the breast to create a projection and a more natural appearance. While some women find they prefer the natural projection of a nipple, others like that they don't have to wear a bra and skip this stage. Your new nipple will project out, but it won't have the natural color of a nipple and areola.

Nipple Tattooing

In about four to six months, you should be fully healed and ready for nipple tattooing. At this time, you can meet with our medical tattoo artist to select pigments and plan the position of the areolas. Your tattoo artist will then tattoo your skin, making your breasts look more realistic. It typically takes about 30-60 minutes to complete the tattoo.


In about six to eight weeks, you can return to your medical tattoo artist for a pigment touch-up and evaluation.

Caring for Your New Tattoo

Caring for your medical tattoo will be like caring for any other tattoo. Be sure to follow all care instructions given to you by your medical tattoo artist. These instructions may include:
Woman in protective loose clothing

Keep the Area Protected

Be sure to keep your skin clean and dry and wear loose clothing that will allow the area to breathe. Don't pick or scratch your tattoo. Avoid the sun and tanning beds as UV rays can be damaging to a healing tattoo.

Ointment being applied to tip of finger

Clean the Skin

Be sure to wash the site of your tattoo with fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water, gently pat it dry, and apply antibacterial ointment regularly. You can also apply moisturizer to aid in the healing process. Do not submerge your tattoo in water as this can blur your tattoo or cause infection.

Our Staff Is With You Every Step of the Way


Rebecca Hinojosa

Metairie, LA


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Dr Tandon is an exceptional surgeon with an incredible staff (Thank you Shannon!). I felt supported and informed for every step of my DIEP flap reconstruction. No matter what the circumstances are, the idea of surgery can be intimidating. Dr. Tandon's talents and skills as a surgeon coupled with his approachable and calm demeanor made the best out of an overwhelming situation. I'm really impressed with my results and sincerely grateful to he and his team!

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Rick Schmitt

Metairie, LA


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Dr Tandon and his staff were most reassuring that all would be well, and it was! I opted for breast implants which are very natural looking and have improved my shape immensely. Dr Tandon is not only a skilled and talented physician, he is a caring and supportive person whose calming manner meant everything to both my husband and myself during such a difficult time. Thank you, Dr Tandon, Shannon, Lacey and the office staff!

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headshot of Dr. Ravi Tandon, Breast Reconstruction Surgeon in New Orleans

Ravi Tandon, M.D.

Dr. Ravi Tandon is one of the most sought after plastic surgeons who is highly skilled and has trained in the latest breast reconstruction techniques. He is affiliated with various plastic surgery organizations: 

  • American Society of Plastic Surgery
  • American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery
  • Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons

If you are exploring breast reconstruction during, immediately after, or long after your mastectomy, our compassionate team can help. To learn more about your options, request a consultation online or call our practice at (504) 455-1000.

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Metairie Office

3900 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Ste 200
Metairie, LA 70002

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