Israeli prosthetic nipple business takes off

By Nathan Jeffay, February 13, 2014
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Michelle Kolath-Arbel did not dream that her breast cancer diagnosis in 2010 would eventually turn her into a pioneering innovator.

But four years on, Ms Kolath-Arbel of Kfar Saba is running a successful business making and selling what she believes is a unique product — realistic-looking nipples that can be mounted on reconstructed breasts. “I got through chemotherapy, needed a full mastectomy on one side, and not many people know that when you do a full mastectomy with reconstruction you normally lose a nipple,” she said.

“At the end of this I had no hair anywhere, had lost my eyelashes and eyebrows, and when they took my nipples I felt I’d lost my femininity.”

She showed her surviving nipple to a US online seller via Skype and ordered a stick-on copy for her other breast, but found it hard, rubbery and “ridiculous”. The only other option was surgery to create a nipple-like lump, which would then be coloured with a tattoo.

So Ms Kolath-Arbel developed a range of soft nipples, made from medical-grade silicone, which are matched to the skin and which she said look realistic. A nipple from her firm, Pink Perfect, costs around £170, and the cost drops if consumers order two. The finished nipples can last for years and have attracted the praise of Israeli doctors. They sustain all activities “including intimate relations”.

    Last updated: 4:55pm, February 13 2014