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Nipple-areola reconstruction with intradermal tattoo and double-opposing pennant flaps.

Reconstruction of the nipple-areolar complex is an important part of postmastectomy breast reconstruction. Intradermal tattooing is effective for creating areolar pigmentation and is simpler than skin grafting. However, a simple method for the construction of a normal nipple using local tissues remains a challenge. Several techniques achieve long-term nipple projection but at the expense of complicated flap design, multidirectional scars, and often a need for skin grafting to obtain a uniform-appearing areola. Our one-stage method of nipple-areola reconstruction uses intradermal tattooing for pigmentation and double-opposing pennant flaps for nipple reconstruction. The entire procedure is simple and fast, routinely performed in < 30 minutes under local anaesthesia in the office. From September 1989 to March 1992 we performed 102 reconstructions. The method produces a realistic appearing nipple. We have had no flap necrosis.

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