Nipple Graft: New Nipples Anywhere!

I’m always very happy when I get to show the body modification world a new procedure that opens up new aesthetic options. So I am completely thrilled to show you an experimental first attempt at a nipple graft procedure coming out of South Africa’s small but inspired body modification community, done on Estè Kira by Lliezel Ellick and Faranaaz Kannemeyer (with most of the photos being by Lohan Koegelenberg). They learned a lot doing this, and I really want to be fair by mentioning that they’d originally wanted me to wait until they’d done a few more and refined the procedure before I showed it. But I think even this first attempt at creating a new nipple from regular skin is incredible and felt it was worth showing off — and I can’t wait to see their next attempt. Let me begin with a photo of the healed result, and then go on to the procedure in more detail.

Estè tells me that about a year ago, while joking around with a friend, she started thinking about having multiple nipples grafted. She says, “I have always envied people with third nipples, and soon realized that it should be possible to create a nipple from skin. I researched nipple reconstruction procedures, usually used in mastectomy cases, and found a website with some pictures and illustrations of the procedure.”

“My close friend, piercer, fellow performer and body mod artist, Lliezel Ellick, was immediately keen to try this experimental procedure. Together with Faranaz Kamaldien, another Cape Town piercer and scarification artist, we got together one saturday morning. After a bit of brain storming, and me explaining to them how I understood the procedure to be done, we went ahead. A friend of mine filmed the procedure as well. It was by far the most intense experience I have had thus far. The over-the-counter anesthetic was not strong enough, so I felt most of it. Every now and again I had a look and we would discuss the next step. It was very deep with the yellow fatty tissue exposed. I kept the open wound closed for about one and a half months with daily cleaning. I think it was the very intense and long healing and a very hard and physical job that has kept me thus far from continuing with the other three that I have planned, but have some time off in December, and want to do them then.”

In December when they do the next three, giving Estè two rows of three nipples a piece, they will be doing some refinements to the procedure from what they learned doing the first one. To the best of Estè’s knowledge — and I agree with her — this is the first such procedure done in the body modification community. It’s extremely exciting to me, and I think they deserve a lot of credit for opening this door, to say nothing of having done it so successfully.

Below you can see the procedure. In the first picture you can see the skin being peeled up around the centre, and in the second photo the cutting/peeling has been completed. In the third photo the stitching is being done, and in the fourth (first photo of the second row), you can see what it looked like fresh and stitched up. Photo five — satisfaction! And in the last picture (which is just a phone photo), you can see it healing at two weeks into the procedure. The photo we began with above is the healed result. My hat is definitely off to Estè, Lliezel, Faranaaz for doing a wonderful procedure and expanding the body modification palette. Great work!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

9 thoughts on “Nipple Graft: New Nipples Anywhere!

  1. I have mixed feelings about mod artists experimenting with procedures that are already being performed by done by plastic surgeons. (Granted, they aren’t put nipples in no-tradition placement, but you get what I mean)

    I can see the call for this if:

    1) The client isn’t looking for the typical “plastic surgery environment”. They want a the type of experience that would be provided by a mod artist , and are willing to trade that for getting work done by a pro that has substantially less training and practice in the procedure, in addition to exponentially less access to safety measures that may be beneficial. (which I absolutely 100% believe is any individuals right to make the call on when it comes to your own body)

    or

    2) It’s a procedure that mainstream doctors flat out refuse to do (because it doesn’t adhear to current standards of beauty, not because it can’t be done)

    But the mixed feelings for me mainly come from the idea of people with a much lesser educational background literally experimenting with surgeries that have already been mastered. It feels a little sketchy to me at times. It’s a tough topic though for everyone. Where and when do we draw the line between the medical community and the mod community, and should there be overlap? Legal implications totally aside (because we all know the legal risk people take on with surgical mods), does it go against logic to take a step back in technological progress? I often wonder that. When there ARE people out there who are spending a lifetime educating themselves to learn to safely manipulate the human body to this degree, does it make sense for “civilians” to step in an attempt the same procedures?

  2. My nipples were cut off and put back on and they’re perfectly fine from the surgeons perspective but my areola is darker than before I had my surgery and it sketches me out. I don’t think that that nipple in the photo looks typical, nor the areola…If I could’ve still had my surgery covered I would’ve opted for NO nipples and had them tattooed on later. Bodies are weird.

  3. CJ – If this was work on a masectomy patient, I might agree. But it’s not. It’s clearly atypical work that you’d be hard-pressed to get a cosmetic surgeon.

    I think there’s lots of truth in your comment, but all things considered, I think it’s an argument I disagree with on the whole.

    As to the comment that doctors have a better education, well, first of all, I see garbage work from doctors constantly. So having gone to school doesn’t make you technically qualified by a long shot. And more importantly, it’s quite common for body artists to have a better artistic grasp of the body, as well as more experience working in the artistic realm, especially the atypical one. So in a lot of cases I’d be willing to put body artists up as the winners in a procedure war…

    It’s unfortunate I can make that comment — it’s actually pretty pathetic how much low quality work I see from doctors constantly.

  4. i have a natural third nipple , it’s special and all , but what makes it special when u let one made on yourself ….
    Not that people shouldn’t do it if they really want it , but it’s just weird for me …
    Tattoos, piercings, scars, brands, etc … all of that stuff i have no problem with , but a third or multiple nipples … nah dont really get it …

  5. Wow, that’s cool. I’m curious, if that’s possible to do with navels (i mean to have a second navel would be really awesome).

  6. Agreed Shannon. This procedure is hardly complicated surgery, and doctors and surgeons are by a long shot not perfect. I would definitely not have a kidney removed in a piercing studio, but, seeing as we did our research, and this is not an invasive operation, with minimal and acceptable risks, I see no reason why it should only be done by plastic surgeons.
    In fact, I feel that this, once a practitioner has refined this procedure, it could open doors for mastectomy patients who might not be able to afford the outrageously ridiculous prices that plastic surgeons charge.
    @ Rainbow… there are several different ways to sculpt a nipple from skin, and this, being an experimental procedure for us, is far from perfect. I opted for this particular model, due to increased sensitivity that comes with scar tissue, rather than attempting an exact physical match. If I had the misfortune of having a mastectomy, I would most likely also opt not to have nipples reconstructed. To me a breast without a nipple is incredibly beautiful and sensual, and I am surprised that we have not really seen any women with body mod nipple removals.

  7. I actually think the nipple is within the normal range for humans, especially post-pregnancy/breast feeding… I’ve seen lots of 100% natural nipples that look like this (of course, I’ve seen a LOT of nipples). But remember too that this was their first attempt and I suspect it will be much improved on subsequent attempts.

  8. great article on surgery that is not done by doctors. I agree that some college-trained surgeons do shitty jobs. I know a diploma and certification do not matter at all. this remind me of your other article about bad scarification being removed.

  9. Pingback: Alien Anatomy – Earlobe Relocation | BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News

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