tatoo over mastectomy scar

I really want to have a pretty tatoo to cover/ decorate my mastectomy scar. Has anyone got any advice or tips?Has anyone else had a tatoo after surgery? I live in the leeds area does anyone know off any experienced tatoo artists? I’m very nervous of just walking into any tatoo shop, firstly need to know that they’re good and secondly that they’re not going to be unsettled by the scar etc.

Hey, I’ve thought about this too! I’ve got tiny dots from radiotherapy and I was thinking about getting these joined into a tattoo (bit like dot to dot picture!!) but then wondered if i’d ever need markers again. I know radiotherapy isn’t repeated but do they ever need to see markers again for reference? My daughter was horrified at the idea of my having a tattoo despite the fact she has been nagging about getting one herself. My partner thinks they are yucky but it isn’t his skin so … I met a lady on "living with cancer " course and she had just had a fantastic flower/plant tatooed up her ankle. It looked great. Around here the best place is in Reigate but no help to you unless you fancy a day trip!

I have family in the leeds area so I’ll ask for a recommendation and P/M you if they can help.

I’ve sent email to family members. Will let you know result. Also have a neighbour who is interested in body art (he’s 18 not my age!) so will also ask him.

If you have seen Elaine Sassoon’s Boudicca Within book, one of her patients decided not to have nipple constructed on her reconstructed breast but had a large colourful tattoo, incorportating flowers and fairies, over her breast. She had a body cast done as part of the associated art exhibition and you can see that the tatto spreads over the scars of her reconstruction.

I remember seeing when I was younger a full page photo in a magazine which came with the weekend paper. The picture was black and white and the lady was beautiful, I think she was bald or had very short hair but she had a tattoo done to celebrate her mastectomy scar rather than mask it. It was kind of like a vine that twisted around the scar with lots of little leaves.

At the time I was really struck by the article and it seemed somehow relevant when I found out I had breast cancer.

I think it’s a great idea, I have never seen the point of reconstruction as it can cause so many problems it seeems unnecessary to me, my only worry is if it would be a problem with possible infection if you have had lymph nodes removed, it might be best to take medical advice.

I hope you let us know what you have done if you decide to go for it, good luck!

Hi - my son was stabbed in the left lung some years back and nearly died, in addition he had his right arm sliced open from shoulder to elbow with a stanley knife. He had a scar from his back to the centre of his chest like a zipper. Anyway he has had tattoos to cover the scars - they a very good quality with an oriental feel and actually look georgeous, They do work well - the scars are barely noticable. He told me they cost about £2000 to have done in total - but he did have a lot of work done. His reckons it is worth paying best you can afford -the difference in the colour work is very noticable and make the diffence between artwork or tacky. He had his done in Brighton.

Good luck - choose something wonderful

Oh dear, I’m one of those people who absolutely loathe tattoos…even the ones I had for radiotherapy! IMHO they look terrible when you are young, worse when you are middle-aged and absolutely appalling when you get old and don’t forget, if you find you hate them, they are almost impossible to remove.

*Shudders at the thought*


If it feels good -do it!.. to quote a little bit of Woodstock at you.

I am taken with this idea -but would shy away from actually doing it-too much of a wimp I think. But I do understand your wish to decorate the scar.
I googled ‘mastectomy scar tattoo’ on image search and found some lovely pictures of women who had opted for tattoos. Lovely results and I would be proud to bear them-if only they came about magically and were reversible …

One word of caution though is to check with your onc/bcn to make sure that any tattoo would not cover up possible skin recurrences.Im assuming that this isnt a problem since so many seem to have gone down this route but better to check first i think.

As always the best way to find a service is by personal recommendation .I belong to a local community called freecycle -.theres one for most areas and it allows members to give away unwanted goods and to ask for unwanted goods from others. A part of this is a type of forum where personal recommendations etc can be made and sought. Just a thought.

Hope you do get your wish. And let us know where the photos are…


Hi all.

I have had breast cancer twice and, separated by some years, had mastectomy, chemo and rads both times. The second time the first tattoos were used as reference point to make sure the same area didn’t get too much of a double dose. Just something to bear in mind.

Best wishes whatever you do.

I think that is a great idea. Do you think a tattoo across the tummy to hide a diep scar would be good :wink:
A zip maybe?? :wink:


Thank you for your response, good advice about avoiding the blue dots. i am seeing surgeon this week so i will ask him if ok to go ahead and i think i’ve found a tatooist near me, recommended by a fellow BC woman, so i will go and see him if my surgeon says its ok.

i want somekind of leafy, vine like trail with pretty flowers entwind, i’ll keep you informed

Thanks again for comments.

Loving the idea of having something wonderful to cover my scars. How long do you have to wait to have a tattoo done after surgery and rads?