Tattooing after Breast Reconstruction

Val_Head shot3Valerie Gilbert has been in the beauty industry for over 20 years. She serves the entire Los Angeles and Orange County cities and receives referrals from prominent plastic surgeons and physicians. She became interested in Cosmetic Tattooing after seeing someone who had re-constructive breast surgery following a bout with breast cancer.  Through the art of tattooing, her areolas were restored to look natural. “I was impressed by the fact that this art could change how someone could view him or herself – whether out of convenience, circumstance or necessity” . Valerie has been trained by one of the most respected Cosmetic Tattoo artists in the Los Angeles area. She has continued to take advanced classes over the years and have helped many people enhance and bring out their natural beauty.

Here Valerie shares some information on nipple and areola tattooing and why this is such an important step for many of our breast reconstruction patients:

Medical tattooing pigmentation restores the areola and nipple complex to help disguise surgical scars and enhance the reconstructed breast. Nipple-areola complex (NAC) is one of the final steps toward wholeness following a mastectomy. Because our Torrance plastic surgeons encourage patients to complete the process, almost 90% of our reconstruction patients elect to restore their areola nipple complex after reconstruction through micro pigmentation (cosmetic tattooing).  This not only completes the reconstruction phase but also restores the woman’s confidence as well.  As our practice’s permanent makeup technician, I routinely hear patients say, “ I wasn’t going to do this (tattoo) but my doctor encouraged me to, and I am so happy I did!”

I’ve volunteered for the American Cancer Society since 2009 as a program leader for the “Look Good Feel Better” program. Using Derma International and Li pigments, along with single-use, sterile supplies, my work has earned me the respect of and referrals from reconstructive plastic surgeons, aestheticians, stylists and makeup artists, as well as others in the health and beauty industry.

Dr. Spenler described the process beautifully.  He explained that they, (the surgeons) cannot make a “new breast” but rather a facsimile or likeness, and the tattoo completes that process.

It’s an honor for me to serve the breast cancer reconstruction patients here at South Bay Plastic Surgeons.

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