Every cancer survivor must decide whether to have breast reconstruction or not at some point throughout their journey. Reconstruction is a straightforward process for ladies who decide to go through. Reconstruction procedures are often well-understood by surgeons, making the process simple.
But reconstructing the nipples is a very different matter. Typically, the fragile tissues that make up the nipple and areola are removed during reconstruction. Skin grafts can be used to construct a patch of tissue that resembles a nipple, but doing so necessitates a different procedure. Instead of getting yet another painful, expensive treatment.
Unfortunately, not many surgeons venture outside of their clinic to investigate nipple tattoo choices. These medical professionals eventually tattoo their nipples. While this tattoo has the advantage of taking place in a clean medical facility with a reduced risk of infection, the general standard of most nipple tattoos is subpar. This can be a tremendous letdown for the patients.
Unless, of course, they acquire a “Vinnie” (or “Vinnies”). After being contacted by a local plastic surgeon, tattoo artist Vinne Meyers began tattooing realistic-looking nipples on cancer survivors in 2001. Soon, the cancer survivor community had heard of his abilities in a very large number of places. His nipple tattoos rapidly overshadowed his other designs. He now tattoos roughly 7-8 nipple tattoos on an average weekday or more than 2,000 nipple tattoos annually.
Before working on patients, most plastic surgeons only have a few hours of tattoo experience, less than an apprentice spends cleaning tubes (much less tattooing). Being a skilled tattoo artist, Mr Meyers can consider skin tone and shading. Women from as far as India have come to his business to obtain the most lifelike breast tattoos. Anna Meyer, Mr Meyer’s 19-year-old daughter, intends to work for him as an apprentice as soon as she receives her art degree from the college in 2017.
Nipple designs on reconstructed breast tissue are complicated by the nature of the skin, in addition to the fact that most surgeons are not skilled in the tattooing craft. Since many women only have “a millimetre or two” of flesh to deal with, untrained hands could leave behind scars, which is the one thing getting a tattoo instead of nipple reconstruction is designed to prevent.