The easiest tattoo you’ll ever get….

August 20th, 2014

It’s been nearly 3.5 years since I had my mastectomy, and I was finally able to take the very last step in reconstruction. There aren’t many talented medical tattoo artists that i’ve been able to locate online. My plastic surgeon recommended one, but she didn’t have a web site or anything I could research online, so my confidence in that avenue was poor. Occasionally I would do another search on the web  to see if any new sites or resources had come online that addressed this final stage of reconstruction.

During one of my searches I came across a man named Vinnie Myers. He has a tattoo parlor out of New Jersey, and had been reviewed by the New York Times in “A Tattoo That Completes a New Breast“, and I’ll admit he does phenomenal work. He is such a brilliant artist, that he now has a waiting list of over a year in both his New Jersey and New Orleans studios. I tried very hard to get an appointment with him as I am traveling to within an hour of both of his locations during this year. As luck would have it, he was booked.

But learning about him gave me an idea. I needed to find an amazing tattoo artist, show them his work, and talk them into trying his techniques on me. I e-mailed Pain and Wonder of Athens, GA, who had done a small celebratory tattoo for me when I completed all of my chemo and radiation. I sent some photos, and asked if this was something they would be willing to try. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bethra Szumski, the owner of the Athens, GA Tattoo Studio, and owner of another studio called Virtue and Vice in Atlanta where she does this work was very involved in medical and cosmetic tattooing. She is at the Athens location on Saturdays just to handle business matters, but she asked me if I would come down so she could evaluate my case. Within 10 minutes,  I had an appointment to have my nipples created just two weeks away.

Today was that day. Within 75 minutes of arriving at the studio, I had my new nipples. And they are more amazing than I could have even envisioned. If you have had reconstruction, and have researched nipple tattoos, you might have been as disappointed as I have been to see some of the really awful work out there. Most of the ones I’ve seen by plastic surgeons or medical tattoo technicians are nothing more than two toned circles on your chest. Bethra’s work is very detailed, and looks extremely realistic.

Before and After Nipple Tattooing Procedure

Before and After Nipple Tattooing Procedure

The before photo you see was taken minutes before the procedure, and the after photo was taken minutes after she was complete. She says I may experience some lightening and may need a touch up in the next three months but that it would be minor.

There was absolutely no pain, because all of your nerves have been severed during a complete mastectomy. The cost was $400 and it was worth every penny…and more. I finally feel like a complete woman again when I look in the mirror.