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Three-Dimensional Nipple-Areola Tattooing: A New Technique with Superior Results

Halvorson, Eric G. M.D.; Cormican, Michael M.D.; West, Misti E. R.N.; Myers, Vinnie

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2014 - Volume 133 - Issue 5 - p 1073–1075
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000144
Breast: Ideas and Innovations
Press Release
Best Paper

Summary: Traditional coloring techniques for nipple-areola tattooing ignore the artistic principles of light and shadow to create depth on a two-dimensional surface. The method presented in this article is essentially the inverse of traditional technique and results in a more realistic and three-dimensional reconstruction that can appear better than surgical methods. The application of three-dimensional techniques or “realism” in tattoo artistry has significant potential to improve the aesthetic outcomes of reconstructive surgery.

Boston, Mass.; Atlanta, Ga.; The Woodlands, Texas; and Finksburg, Md.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital; the Department of Surgery, Emory University; The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; and Little Vinnie’s Tattoos.

Received for publication December 4, 2012; accepted November 13, 2013.

Presented at the 55th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, in Amelia Island, Florida, June 2 through 6, 2012.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial relationships to disclose. No funds were received in the preparation of this article.

Eric G. Halvorson, M.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. 02115,

©2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons