South Bay Plastic Surgery Logo

After Breast Cancer: Areola and Nipple Tattoos for Breast Reconstruction

Woman's shoulders and chest (MODEL)

Many breast cancer survivors often don’t know they can put the finishing touches on their breast reconstruction with cosmetic tattooing. The art of areola and nipple breast tattoos has emerged as a remarkable solution, offering a path to regaining both physical and emotional wholeness. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of post-breast cancer areola and nipple tattoos for our Los Angeles breast reconstruction patients, shedding light on the transformative power of this unique option.

Finding the Right Breast Reconstruction Tattoo Artist

As with any aesthetic procedure, finding a skilled, experienced provider is the first and most important Val_Head shot3 step. Valerie Gilbert is often the artist people turn to put the finishing touches on their breast reconstruction. She has been in the beauty industry for over 20 years and serves the entire Los Angeles area and Orange County cities. Known for her expertise, she receives referrals from prominent plastic surgeons and physicians throughout the region.

She became interested in cosmetic tattooing after seeing someone who had reconstructive breast surgery following a bout with breast cancer. Through the art of tattooing, her areolas were restored to look natural.

“I was impressed by the fact that this art could change how someone could view him or herself – whether out of convenience, circumstance, or necessity.” Valerie has been trained by one of the region’s most respected cosmetic tattoo artists and has continued to take advanced classes over the years. Through this work, she has helped many people enhance and bring out their natural beauty.

How Do Areola & Nipple Tattoos Work?

Although most patients will need to wait at least 4 months after their breast reconstruction to pursue nipple and areola tattooing, it is an important step.

Valerie explains, “Medical tattooing pigmentation restores the areola and nipple complex to help disguise surgical scars and enhance the reconstructed breast. The nipple-areola complex (NAC) is one of the final steps toward wholeness following a mastectomy.

“In short, the surgeons cannot make a ‘new breast,’ but rather a facsimile or likeness, and the tattoo completes that process,” Valerie says. offers additional information about nipple tattooing and how it compares to nipple reconstruction, but many patients opt for nipple reconstruction with areolar tattoos. You can see some of our patients’ results in the photos below:

Before & After Nipple Reconstruction Case 215 View #1 View in Torrance, CA
Before & After Areolar Tattoos & Nipple Reconstruction
Before & After Nipple Reconstruction Case 180 View #1 View in Torrance, CA
Before & After Areolar Tattoos & Nipple Reconstruction
Before & After Breast Reconstruction Case 179 View #1 View in Torrance, CA
Before & After Areolar Tattoos & Nipple Reconstruction

Restoring Your Confidence

Because our plastic surgeons encourage patients to complete the process, almost 90% of our reconstruction patients elect to restore their areola nipple complex through micropigmentation (cosmetic tattooing). This not only completes the reconstruction phase but also restores the woman’s confidence.

As our practice’s permanent makeup technician, Valerie says she routinely hears patients say, “I wasn’t going to do this (tattoo), but my doctor encouraged me to, and I am so happy I did!”

Working In the Community

Valerie has volunteered for the American Cancer Society since 2009 as a program leader for the “Look Good Feel Better” program. “Using Derma International and Li pigments, along with single-use, sterile supplies, my work has earned me the respect of and referrals from reconstructive plastic surgeons, aestheticians, stylists and makeup artists, as well as others in the health and beauty industry,” Valerie explains.

“It’s an honor for me to serve the breast cancer reconstruction patients here at South Bay Plastic Surgeons.”

Getting Started

If you’re considering breast reconstruction or aesthetic tattoos to complete the look of your reconstructed breasts, we’re here to help. You can request a consultation using our online form or call us at (310) 784-0644 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping restore your confidence!

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are required.