“Triple nipples” is yet another way to innovate the human body. And a third nipple doesn’t necessarily have to be grafted onto your chest. It can go anywhere: the elbow, the knee, the foot; whatever turns you on.
Nipple grafting does have its place in modern medicine. It’s used specifically for reconstructing nipples postmastectomy. However, body modification practitioners in South Africa have pioneered procedures for grafting an extra nipple anywhere on the human body.
Adding a nipple to your body can be performed via various procedures. A realistic, natural-looking nipple can be obtained using a silicone nipple prosthesis. But for those body mod aficionados who want it to be more natural, nipple grafting may be the way to go: taking skin from one part of the body, shaping it into a nipple mound, and implanting it at the desired site. The top layer of the skin is removed from the area of the body where the additional nipple is desired and the graft is attached in its place. Typical skin donor areas include a piece of an actual nipple, the inner thigh, the earlobe, the labia, toe pulp, or a slice of scar tissue.
But it ain’t that easy!
Nipple projection must be maximized and natural flattening must be addressed. (Who wants limp nipples when permanently perky ones are an option?) All implanted nipples droop, losing their projection over time due to the body’s normal wound-healing process. To ensure proper nipple projection, there are a few tricks of the trade that can be employed. To add volume and prevent the nipple from sagging, it can be injected with a commercial volumizing filler such as Radiesse® (used to make “wrinkles and folds disappear”) or a tissue matrix such as AlloDerm®. AlloDerm® is manufactured from donated human skin, and was initially developed as a graft to treat burn patients, but is now used in breast reconstruction to restore tissue damaged by injury, disease, or radiation, and works using the regenerative power of a patient’s own body.
After the medical procedure is performed, dressing and gauze are applied and the wound must be kept dry for about a week. Once the stitches dissolve, the nipple graft needs to be supplemented by tattooing a realistic areola surrounding the artificial nipple to simulate the darker skin of an actual areola.
Creating a Nipple Areola
A nipple areola can be tattooed around the construction of an additional nipple to simulate an actual areola. Plastic surgeons or tattoo artists can administer the tattoo. The clinician mixes various colors and then tinkers with shading to select a pigment to match the color of the other nipple areolas, or any color can be created that a patient prefers to complement their natural skin tone. Achieving the exact shade of color may require several tattoo sessions, and one must also keep in mind that the color of a tattoo fades over time. If a patient doesn’t opt for a nipple areola tattoo, an artificial areola can be constructed with a skin graft. The inner thigh or the buttock crease are common donor sites for the skin graft.
So, there you have it: another expansion to the body modification palette that opens up new aesthetic options.
- AlloDerm® regenerative tissue matrix. Life Cell website. http://www.lifecell.com/health-care-professionals/lifecell-products/allodermr-regenerative-tissue-matrix/.
- Extreme body modifications. CVLT Nation website. December 13, 2013. http://www.cvltnation.com/extreme-body-modifications/.
- Larratt S. Nipple graft: new nipples anywhere! BME website. November 2, 2012. http://news.bme.com/2012/11/02/nipple-graft-new-nipples-anywhere/.
- Nipple areola reconstruction. Breast Reconstruction website. http://www.breastreconstruction.org/SecondaryProcedures/NippleAreolaReconstruction.html.
- Radiesse website. http://www.radiesse.com/.
- Yüksel F, Çeliköz B. C-V flap nipple reconstruction combined with areola grafting. Indian J Plastic Surg. 2003;36(2):71-75. http://www.bioline.org.br/pdf?pl03019.