November 19, 2018 9:37 am | by Karen Holvey
Permanent cosmetics tattooing can provide great therapeutic value to those who have survived breast cancer and help them feel better and more whole by using cosmetic techniques to either cover scars from the surgery or facilitate re-pigmentation of the remaining breast tissue. With proper color selection, shaping and placement, we will work to achieve natural looking breast(s).
The surgeon who performs your mastectomy probably won’t be able to do the cosmetic procedure to return you to your pre-operative look- it’s not cost effective as it’s considered to be a cosmetic procedure by the insurance company paying the bill, nor is the surgeon trained in re-pigmentation. Therefore, it’s important- after waiting 6 to 12 months, depending on the type of surgery performed- to contact a qualified professional permanent makeup artist to help with re-pigmentation.
At Huntington Academy of Permanent Cosmetics, we start with a one on one consultation- breast cancer survivors have already been through a harrowing experience, and we feel it’s important to provide one on one attention in these cases. The techniques and tools used vary depending on the range of issues- cancer reconstruction, breast augmentation or areola enlargement all require different approaches.
When there is only one breast, the procedure is actually a bit more difficult- because the existing pigmentation on the other breast has to be color matched. We’ll draw everything we plan to do, right where we plan to do it, with a nontoxic, nonpermanent marker. We’ll take note of all existing colorations, how the areola blends in to the surrounding area, shadow under the nipple, etc.
In the case of a double mastectomy, we have references on hand such as magazines and photos- we can look through these materials as well to decide your final look, then draw it to make sure we’re in agreement before the procedure begins.
In some cases, scar tissue can be completely disguised or camouflaged with a well-designed tattoo.
We always schedule a follow-up appointment 4 to 8 weeks after the initial procedure to check the pigment and make adjustments as needed- because breast re-pigmentation is a two-step process.