A Special Tattoo for Breast Cancer Survivors

Vinnie Myers owns a small tattoo parlor in Finksburg, Maryland. For 20 years he has provided a wide array of traditional tattoo services; his artwork featuring images from skulls to swordfish. Over the past few years though, Vinnie has left his traditional tattooing days behind him, opting for a more unusual specialty and his new clientele aren’t your typical inked up patrons.

More than 5000 women from all over the world, all breast cancer patients and survivors, have flocked to Little Vinnie’s Tattoos to meet with Vinnie Myers and get his unbelievably realistic three dimensional nipple areola tattoo.

Vinnie first came into this business when he found himself chatting with a friend who was a the time working in a plastic surgeon’s office. “She told me they were having problems tattooing their breast cancer patients and asked me if I would come in and help correct some of them,” Mr. Myers said.

When a breast cancer patient undergoes a breast reconstruction, following their mastectomy, the surgeon is able to recreate the size and shape of a woman’s natural breast; however the nipple and areola are most often removed completely. Most commonly, surgeons will provide the finishing touch on a woman’s reconstructed breast with a tattoo to resemble a nipple. Unfortunately, because these surgeons are often trained very little on the art of tattooing, they often create little more than a pink, brown and reddish circle on the breast.

After seeing several all around bad tattoos done on breast cancer patients, Vinnie started taking on more nipple tattoo jobs. He soon realized that there was a need for a professional service to offer breast cancer patients and survivors a truly complete breast – nipple included!

Vinnie now has a waiting list of up to 6 months to receive on of his nipple tattoos. He no longer provides regular tattooing services because he is so busy and is currently training his daughter to tattoo nippled alongside him. Head over to the NY Times Well Blog for more on this story.



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