Heart shaped nipples are the latest popular trends in breast modification. The procedure doesn’t make your actual nipple heat-shaped. Instead, modify the surrounding dark skin of nipple or areola.
Like areola reduction surgery this process does not perform by any actual doctor. It is usually done by the tattoo artist.
Due to high risk of infections, mostly all plastic surgeons discourage, condemn this modification. So, if you decide to do that, you may find an experienced tattoo artist or a micropigmentation expert.
If you love to get heart shaped nipples, then you are in the right place. Keep reading to get answers of your questions.
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How is this procedure performed?
You can get heart-shaped nipples either as a tattoo or as a nipple graft.
Nipple tattoos can be painful, so you can avoid this procedure. But if you are brave enough to tolerate, you can go for it.
Plastic surgeon can perform the nipple graft procedure. They reshape your areola into heart-shape.
Your plastic surgeon will remove the outer layer of your nipples. Then covering it graft from another body part to give the heart shape.
Alternatively, if you love any other shape, your plastic surgeon will remove the outer layer and reshape the inner layer desired by you.
In this case, your nipple sensitivity can be reduced. Or it can be compromise with the ability of breast feeding.
Nipple grafting or reshape areolas through micropigmentation looks more natural. But they are broken down much faster than tattoo ink. So, they fade over the time.
Just like getting a regular tattoo, the tattoo artist can perform the procedure. The area is more sensitive, so it may be painful.
Only an experienced and certified tattoo artist can perform the nipple tattoo procedure.
During this procedure, Tattoo artist first draw the shape with marker. Then, adjusting the nipple shape by coloring, re-sizing and re-shaping your areola based on your preference. After confirming by you, the artist simply tattoos the area by medical-grade ink.
In most case, the tattoo artist will lighten some part of the areola to give heart shape.
Unlike nipple grafting, nipple tattoo is less costly, carries less risk and less permanent.
Nipple tattoos are commonly used include the following type:
3d nipple tattoo: they are looks like 3d realistic image with have physical dimensions but actually the image is flat.
Regular tattoo: it is very simple as the tattoo artist inserts ink into the skin area using the tattoo needles.
Apart from heart shaped nipples, you can choose different shapes to your breast areolas. Some sample pictures are posted Pinterest you can choose any of them.
As the skin stretches and nipples moves downward, the shape will lose its radiance over time. Therefore, you need to redraw the image and go for touchups in every 12 to 24 months.
Picture of heart-shaped nipple
Are there any risks and complications on getting Heart-shaped nipples?
Heart shaped nipples are the permanent body modification. Like, other permanent body modifications it also has some risks and complications.
- Reduced sensitivity on nipples
- Bleeding and pain on areola that does not stop
- Yellow or clear discharge
- Signs of infection
- Effects on immune system
- Affect ability of breastfeeding
- Difficulty in breastfeeding
- Appearance of nipple modification may shift over time
How do you take preparations for this procedure?
If you have decided to get heart-shaped nipples, you need consultation with your certified tattoo artist or plastic surgeon.
Bring pictures of your desired outcome during the conversation.
You should be preparing to ask any questions related to your surgery such as:
- Taking care of your nipples after the procedure
- What will be the healing process
- If your surgeon or tattoo artist has done the similar procedure before
- Ask to see examples of pictures of their work
- Risks and complications associated with this modification
- How much cost associated to do this procedure
If you have piercings on your nipples you may need to remove before nipple graft or other plastic surgery procedure. If you decide to getting a nipple tattoo, speak to your tattoo artist if they may have any interference.
What to expect after the procedure?
After a nipple graft surgery, your plastic surgeon will place a bandage over the area to avoid getting hurt. You will need to keep your incision area clean, dry, and covered to prevent an infection.
Due to pain after surgery, you may be prescribed a painkiller. Your doctor may advice not to do exercise or heavy physical activities one week after surgery. Even you may be return to your work after one or two days.
You will need to avoid getting your nipple graft or tattoo wet for 3 to 5 days.
Usually after seven days of your surgery you need to go back to your surgeon for a follow-up check to see the healing progress. your surgeon will tell aftercare instructions about how to clean and change your bandage.
After six weeks of the procedure, you should be able to resume all your normal activities. If everything going perfectly you will able to see the healed result.
You need to keep the area as clean and dry as possible after getting the nipple tattoo or nipple graft.
Your surgeon may recommend to avoid certain types of bras during the healing process. Also, avoid any aerobic activity or exercise that creates excessive movement of your areola tissue.
If you take proper care during healing period, no complications will arrive. Heart-shaped nipples tattoo recovered quickly than nipple graft. If you will find anything unusual, immediately go to your surgeon or tattoo artist.
Who Should Get a Heart Nipple Tattoo?
People who’ve had a bilateral mastectomy, usually choose heart nipple tattoo. Because they need reconstruction of both their nipples.
Sometimes, Patients need only one side nipple modification to match the natural nipple on the other side. Usually, they go for the traditional, circular tattoo.
Some patient lost their nipple due to breast cancer treatment, injury or gender affirmation surgery. They can choose nipple tattoo.
Although, heart shaped nipple tattoo is a voicing of creativity and invincible strength of spirit.
So various clients have their own stories to getting heart shaped nipples tattoos and reclaim control over their bodies.
How much does cost to get Heart-shaped nipples?
Getting Heart-shaped nipples by tattoo is less expensive than nipple graft. The cost of nipple tattoo from an experienced tattoo artist is $350 for one nipple and $600-$1000 for both nipples. It depends on per hour charge of your tattoo artist.
Nipple graft surgery is more expensive and it ranges from $600-$5000. Although, the cost will depend on some factors, like locations, experience of tattoo artist, if he is moving to your area or residence.
Whether it is nipple graft surgery or nipple tattoo some factors will affect on your cost, such as:
- Experience of tattoo artist or plastic surgeon
- Living cost around your location
- Where the surgery is performed, either at home or in a hospital
- Method of anesthesia
Nipple tattoos needs touching-up and color restoration in every 2 years with an additional cost.
Does insurance cover heart-shaped nipple surgery or tattoo?
Heart-shaped nipple modification is thought about an elective body modification procedure and do not cover by most insurance company.
Few insurance companies often cover nipple tattooing. Hospital or plastic surgeons can handle the insurance claim for you.
The bottom line
Whether your nipple area tattooed or grafted, you might choose any shape, color, or design you want. This body modification is seldom reversible.
If you choose semi-permanent tattoo ink to get heart shaped nipples, there is no guarantee to pigment will disappear completely over time.
Consider this choice carefully and evaluate all your options before you determine to modify your nipples.
- Kaatz M, et al. (2008). Body-modifying concepts and dermatologic problems: Tattooing and piercing. DOI:
- Khunger N, et al. (2015). Complications of tattoos and tattoo removal: Stop and think before you ink. DOI:
- Kozlow JH, et al. (2018). What should be the role of plastic surgeons in nonanatomic breast reconstruction, including tattooing?
- Nimboriboonporn A, et al. (2014). Nipple-areola complex reconstruction.
- Wong SS-Y, et al. (2012). Infections associated with body modification. DOI: