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In a final step, the area surrounding the new nipple is tattooed to simulate the areola. Your surgeon may perform the tattooing in her office, or may have a specially-trained technician do the tattooing. Some surgeons refer patients to professional tattoo artists who are experienced with reconstructive tattooing. You can choose from a variety of pigments; some experts suggest matching the color of your lips or your natural nipples. Tattoos are initially made especially dark, because they tend to fade considerably in time, but they can be repigmented if desired. Because a reconstructed breast has little or no sensation, most women feel the tattooing more as pressure than pain.
3-D nipple tattooing refers to a special process that uses different pigments to simulate the look and texture of a natural areola.