Tattooing: the final creative touch after mastectomy

Ever since I had breast cancer surgery, I have been fascinated by the idea of surgery and reconstruction as art. Down to creating a fake nipple and colouring it with a tattoo, the process is a creative  one. I wrote about my own experience of medical nipple tattooing in my Oncoplastic Fruit blog a while back; it was quite something to see the range of colours at my nurse’s disposal when I had it done – not unlike seeing the range of nail varnishes when having a manicure!

nipple tattoo colour crop Someone recently gave me a copy of Rose, a free French magazine for breast cancer patients. It’s beautifully produced, with ads for luxury brands like Chanel, making it possible to pay for well-researched and meaningful articles, illustrations, and photography. This copy has a comic-book style article about nipple tattooing in it, which stopped me in my tracks.

The images of the tattooist at work are brilliant. It’s like art describing art. You can see at a glance how it works; I instantly recognised the rows of ink, so similar to mine. You can see how the tattooist reassures his client and how pleased she is with the result, which would give confidence to patients who are weighing up whether to have this done or not. I love the idea of sharing knowledge with patients in this visual format, and I wish we could do more of it. It would be a lovely thing if patients were given graphic articles and illustrations like this to make even complicated medical issues more accessible and easy to understand – as long as it’s in the right language of course…

tatoueur de baltimore crop


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