So, heart-shaped nipples. What do you think of them? Some people are into it, some people are not.
Whatever your opinion is, we can both agree that they are a topic worth discussing. For instance, you’ve probably come across discussions questioning their safety. You might have also learned that quite a lot of cosmetic surgeons aren’t at all for the idea.
In this article, I’m going to give you everything you need to know about heart-shaped nipples.
I’ll let you know why there is such a fuss surrounding the procedure. I’ll also highlight the 2 main processes that can give you heart-shaped nipples. Most importantly, we’ll see what are the main risk factors involved.
Ready for the dive? Let’s begin…!
What is a heart-shaped nipple?
This is a form of body modification that changes the appearance of your areolas into the shape of a heart. It has gotten popular over the years. The process may include either nipple grafting or getting tattooed.
Now, there has been a lot of debate revolving around the safety of taking these procedures. As a matter of fact, a majority of professional cosmetic doctors advise against them.
The main concern surrounding it, especially grafting, is the risk of running an infection afterward. And I must reiterate that the claims made therein are not farfetched. If you ignore the risks, then you might suffer some pretty painful setbacks in your journey.
Because of that, you must ensure that you only seek the services of a qualified tattoo artist. The same also applies if you resort to body modification. Your handler must be an accredited specialist who’s done such types of procedures before.
Despite all that, the procedures are often recommended for some patients. These may include people who have undergone mastectomy. (Or other breast cancer side effects)
It’s also popular among transgender persons and those who’ve done corrective surgery.
How to get a heart-shaped nipple
Getting a heart-shaped nipple job is not too difficult nowadays. The methods have undergone a lot of changes over the years and have become more available.
Currently, there are 2 main methods that you may consider. They include nipple tattooing and nipple grafting.
Let’s take a keener look at these below:
1. Tattooed Heart-Shaped Nipples
For this procedure, I advise that you only go for the services of a professional tattoo artist. But, compared to grafting, getting a heart-shaped tattoo will cost you much fewer bucks.
Worth mentioning too is that tattoos are a way safer method. This is because it does not involve highly invasive processes beyond the ink and needle. What’s more, some artists have specialized in nipple tattoos. Some even have medical-grade ink only made for this type of work.
When you opt for a tattoo procedure, there are a couple of popular designs that you could settle for.
a. Regular Tattoo
A regular tattoo means that you will just get the normal, customary ink and coloring. The job entails adding pigmentation into your nipple and areola region.
b. 3D Design Tattoo
3D nipple tattoo designs take things a notch higher when done the right way. For example, you may have your preferred tattoo artist add some realistic details to the art. Such details may include veins, shadows, folds, and contours.
In the hands of a professional tattooist, the results would look like they have a real physical form. The only way to tell the difference would be by touching the skin. Only then will anyone realize its actual flatness.
Note: Nipple tattoos tend to be more way more painful than getting other regular tattoos. This is since the skin around the nipple and areola are much more sensitive. So, you have to take extra care that you do not affect the healing process after the inkwork.
Consider getting heart-shaped nipple tattoos if you want something temporary. This is because some tattoos fade off after a while. You may also decide to get them removed if you grow bored somewhere down the line.
A qualified artist can give you the shape, color, or size that you desire for your heart-shaped nipples. You can also get several other tattoo designs incorporated.
A few of them include:
2. Grafted Heart-Shaped Nipples
Grafting is a more extensive procedure than tattooing. Its main focus is on physically altering the shape and form of your nipples.
Nipple grafting is more invasive than tattoos. The doctor will remove a bit of skin from your nipples and replace it with skin from other parts of your body.
The whole process will focus on reshaping your nipple through cuts and incisions.
Another alternative is taking out some skin around the nipple and areola. Afterward, your surgeon can reshape the exposed inner skin into a heart shape.
Nipple grafting allows you to have any shape you want after the initial layers get removed. Also, this process is way more effective at changing the size and feel of your nipples.
The only setback with nipple grafting is that you may have to face a ton of possible side effects after the job. Some of the most common side effects include infections and deformation. A more adverse side effect of nipple grafting includes finding difficulty when breastfeeding.
We’ll look at these in-depth further along.
That said, nipple grafting will cost you a lot more compared to tattooing. A graft may also take longer to heal and involves a lot of critical aftercare.
What do certified surgeons think about this whole idea?
Most reputable plastic surgeons term nipple-shaping modification as an unethical procedure. Because of this, you will not find that many certified surgeons who’re willing to perform the task. And if you do, high chances are that they are only after the money.
It is a very sensitive process that many views as contradicting a lot of safety guidelines.
Dr. Cohen, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, hints at some not-talked-of risks. He points out that the results of the surgery may differ from your desires many a time.
This happens during the healing process. A surgeon may map out your preferred heart-shaped nipple. Still, changes in your biological tissues can alter the final look.
He explains that as your wounds heal, the skin may contract. Thus, affecting the final outline of the shape.
The same may also happen as a result of scarring. This is because the healing process is pretty unpredictable. What you’ll instead get after you heal is a distortion of the initial heart shape you wanted.
Even so, professional plastic surgeons do not perform body modifications. They are more inclined towards cosmetic surgeries instead.
Body Modification Vs. Cosmetic Surgery
Body modification refers to changing your physical appearance by either piercing or tattooing. Cosmetic surgery entails intensive surgery done by a medically-trained plastic surgeon.
Procedures done by a plastic surgeon involve a lot of peer review and take time to execute. Even more important, their practices receive great amounts of monitoring by the FDA.
On the other hand, body modifiers learn their craft on the job and do not fall under any regulations. Most of the time, your insurance cover will not apply to their services. With plastic surgery, you can get several decent clinics that accept medical cover.
What do you need to know before getting one?
So, what is it that most plastic surgeons don’t like about these types of procedures? I mean, there has to be some logical explanation about why they seem so hung up on the matter. Right?
Well, to understand that, you must first understand some factors. They involve related risks, scarring, ethics, and level of comfort.
See what I mean below:
First off, there’s concern over comfort when undergoing body modification procedures. The reason is that most body modifiers may not have the right knowledge of using anesthesia. For plastic surgeons though, the administering of anesthesia is much safer and reliable.
Despite that fact, there are a lot of tattoo parlors now making use of anesthesia. You might experience this if you’re going for extensive inkwork or just want to numb the pain.
In the same breath, some procedures do not involve the use of anesthesia at all. So, if the pain is a concern of yours, ensure that you talk about the whole process with your practitioner beforehand.
There lies a far much greater risk with body modifications than with other regular surgery. The most common cause I’d say is due to the fact that many mods are mainly experimental. It means that there’s no real peer review or an outlined process that guides their execution. Because of that, you’ll discover body modifications are still unpredictable no matter the handler.
Some of the main risks involve over bleeding as seen in tongue-splitting and getting infections. These two are just the tip of the iceberg from the list of possible risks.
As I earlier mentioned, body modification practitioners do not fall under any type of regulation. That means that each does their craft according to how convenient it is to them. They do not follow the standard guidelines set to prevent destructive scarring on surgery patients. The APP (Association of Professional Piercers) brought these guidelines to prevent such risks.
When such guidelines are not observed, then the procedures could result to slow healing. Even worse, it may lead to scarring. The scarring can cause long-lasting deformation that many won’t find pleasing.
Professional surgeons will do their best to ensure that scarring effects remain minimal. Unless, of course, you want to scar purely for aesthetic reasons. In which case we’ll call the process scarification.
Many people who undergo body modifications have repeatedly shown regret after the procedure. That is one of the main reasons why many plastic surgeons see it as an unethical process.
You can reverse the presence of some tattoos but some may prove difficult to get away from. One good example is the case of eyeball tattoos. Most tattoos get removed with the help of laser technology. This is not always practical when it comes to using it on a human being’s eyeballs.
How to prepare for a heart-shape nipple procedure
If you’re hell-bent on getting a heart-shaped nipple procedure, first go for a consultation. If possible, you should carry with you preselected photos of what you’d like for yourself.
It’s also important that you enquire from the practitioner whether they’ve done the procedure before. It can be even better if they can associate their claim with official records as proof.
Other than that, you should also ask what the process entails and what you need to do afterward.
You may get instructed to remove any metallic piercing (if you have any) before the process. This is especially when you’ve opted for a nipple graft. With tattooing, the requirements may be a bit less stringent according to what your artist advises.
What happens after getting a nipple job? For one, your main effort should be on healing.
For the rest of the guidelines:
- Keep the touched area dry, clean, and always covered. Ensure that you also keep the bandages clean to avoid infections.
- Take any pain medication prescribed to help manage the pain.
- Depending on the type of procedure done, you should avoid doing highly intensive exercises.
- Check back with your practitioner after 7 days to examine your progress. Normally, your graft would have bonded with the inner skin by then.
- Throughout your healing process, you should also avoid wearing tight-fitting bras. Such may encourage the development of dead skin that may cause flaking as you heal.
- Also, you should keep your nipples away from water or moisture within the first 3-5 days. This will prevent skin bloating.
The speed of recovery varies in different people. Even after healing, your nipple may continue to change its appearance for months down the line.
Cost of getting heart-shaped nipples in 2021
The cost differs depending on the type of procedure you want. The cost is also affected by your current location and the practitioner you plan on seeing. Still, getting a heart-shaped nipple tattoo is much cheaper than nipple grafting.
On average, you may have to part with $600 to $800 for nipple tattoos. 
For nipple grafting, the cost spans from $600 up to even $5000.
Other factors that may affect the cost of these procedures include:
- Your region’s cost of living
- The experience of the tattoo artist or grafting specialist
- Type of anesthesia used
- Location of the procedure (whether at your home or on their premises)
Risks related to heart-shape nipple procedures
What are some of the most recurring side effects of getting heart-shaped nipples?
Take a look at the list below:
- Reduced sensitivity around the nipple area
- Long-lasting scarring
- Difficulties when breastfeeding due
- Pain and bleeding
- Pus development and discharge
- Distortion of the work as an eventual result of scarring
When it comes to heart-shaped nipples, the choice is never a walk in the park. Take your time to carefully understand the process and risks involved.
Also, know that the change is not reversible. That also goes when you use temporary ink for a nipple tattoo.
On the brighter side, this kind of thing is a great solution for people who’ve undergone mastectomy.
I hope this heart-shaped nipple guide has helped you.
Have any questions or experiences worth sharing? Feel free to engage me via the Comments Section below!