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!