Tattoo Artists Assist in Breast Reconstruction Procedures
Breast reconstruction is a major step in regaining a sense of normalcy in her life when a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Once the breast reconstruction process is complete, most women are left without the nipple and surrounding areola.
In an effort to help with this, professional tattoo artists have been striving to create realistic three-dimensional tattoos of the nipple and areola. Areola repigmentation is done by tattoo, having a 3-D effect in mind. All procedures are done in the beautiful office of Dr. Brandon Reynolds, in a private and sterile environment. It’s the last step in a very hard journey. Each woman is treated with the utmost care and respect while Annie, from Pink Ribbon Tattoo, helps her design what will make her feel whole again. The goal through this process is to help women feel physically and emotionally restored.
Tattoo Artist Techniques
Before a paramedical tattoo artist becomes involved in the process, the reconstruction of the breast is completed by the plastic surgeon. Often, the plastic surgeon will reconstruct the nipple, however there is no coloration of the surrounding areola. Aesthetically, the nipple reconstruction alone is not as realistic as many women hope it to be.
Now that paramedical tattoo artists have joined in the battle against breast cancer, patient outcomes have improved significantly. They’re able to recreate the most natural looking nipple and areola complexes due to their experience with needle types and speeds, color mixing, and attention to detail. Their technical skill makes it possible to compensate for the lack of texture that results from a breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. They’re even able to create the shadows that make it seem as though the nipple and the little glands around the nipple protrude (if a new nipple was not reconstructed by the plastic surgeon) as they should.
Truly, the potential for improved patient outcomes, with the help of paramedical tattoo artists, is limitless.
Some concerns have been expressed regarding the incorporation of these “other” professionals into the world of plastic surgery. A primary concern involved is the possible business that may be taken away from Las Vegas plastic surgeons. When patients are referred to these other professionals for a part of their reconstruction procedure, a fraction of the plastic surgeon’s business may be lost. However, in the grand scheme of giving patients their best possible outcome, this may be a necessary sacrifice. At Reynolds Plastic Surgery, we do not have this concern as we have an amazing tattoo artist in house and are able to offer patients a renewed and whole sense of self from the start of the breast reconstruction process to the completion of it.
There has also been a concern about whether or not these tattoo “procedures” will be covered by a patient’s insurance company. Only time will tell for sure, however, there is a belief that insurance will cover the tattoo at least in part. This will be especially true if tattoo artists are willing to go into medical facilities to work rather than having women go to their tattoo parlors.
If you are facing a battle against breast cancer, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Reynolds Plastic Surgery has a dedicated team of professionals ensuring your best recovery.
When the time comes to pursue post-mastectomy options, please schedule a consultation with our experienced plastic surgeon at Reynolds Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas to see exactly what your options are.
For more information, contact Reynolds Plastic Surgery at 702.410.9800.