What Should Be the Role of Plastic Surgeons in Nonanatomic Breast Reconstruction, including Tattooing?

AMA J Ethics. 2018 Apr 1;20(4):366-371. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.4.msoc1-1804.


The goal of plastic surgeons performing postmastectomy anatomic reconstruction is to create a breast structure that closely matches the shape and appearance of a patient's native breast. Tattoo artists have helped improve outcomes with nipple-areolar tattooing. Some patients now prefer to have more extensive, nonanatomic designs to help camouflage their scars. Two questions are considered here: What role should plastic surgeons have in supporting or performing nonanatomic reconstruction? And should insurance programs cover nonanatomic breast reconstruction options?

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / ethics*
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Surgical Flaps / ethics*
  • Tattooing / ethics*
  • Tattooing / methods