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Tattoo After Mastectomy

3 REPLIES 3
Sue Pat
Member

Re: Tattoo After Mastectomy

Hi #Paintedlady & #Delly

Thank you for your replies. Only 6 weeks since my mastectomy so I'll have to give it some time yet, pity because I'm so keen to have it done but I must learn to be patient.

I had 2 lymph nodes removed my BC surgeon tells me I have plenty more there. I've not discussed a tattoo with him because I don't find him very easy to talk to in fact we are in dispute over me taking Letrozole at the moment. I really don't see the point of taking it for a 1% benefit, given the risk factors involved with it but he sees it purely as a tool to hold back the cancer and nothing else and can't see why I would refuse it.

I've already sourced a couple of mastectomy tattoo specialists, both in Yorkshire. In a year or so I shall request a tattoo for Christmas. Can't think of a better present.

Sue xx

delly
Member

Re: Tattoo After Mastectomy

Hi Sue Pat

I'm so sorry you having to have a mastectomy. I soo hope it goes well for you. 

I applaud your attitude to not have reconstruction, that's whatever age you are 👏

You haven't mentioned, if you also have to have your LYMPH nodes removed as well (ANC) ??

If you ARE, then ref tattooing - There are TWO issues you have to consider. One, Yes, the possibility of it sparking off Lymphoedema. The other, that it may "cause" or "introduce" infection, which, if you DON'T have underarm lymph nodes, is a MAJOR consideration in having tattooing, or ANY other skin "damage" (which tattooing produces- however "careful" or "sterile" they may be). Check it out with your BCN/oncology team first, hey.

However, if you DON'T also have to have ANC - Hope you're pleased with the results of it 🤗 Delly xXx    

paintedlady
Member

Re: Tattoo After Mastectomy

Hi, I had a mastectomy with a reconstruction 8 years ago. Shortly after the op I developed lymphoedema but with a fast referral and a course in lymphatic drainage it cleared up in about 8 months. My reconstruction was not the same size or height as my remaining boob and it really annoyed me. I asked for surgery to make them the same size but was told it wasn’t necessary. So I decided to get a tattoo. I waited 5 years to get it, mainly wanting to make sure I was doing the right thing, choosing an artist and a design. I have a beautiful spray of wild roses half way across my chest, it can be seen if I wear a lower neckline, and I love it. I did it for me, no one else. (However I was diagnosed with a lump on the other side and had another mastectomy 18 months ago so more people saw it than originally intended! ) I haven’t had any issues with swelling on the tattooed side. I would advise being very careful when choosing an artist though and take your time. There are some artists that specialise in mastectomy coverups. Best of luck with your recovery and with your tattoo. Xx

Sue Pat
Member

Tattoo After Mastectomy

I go in for a single mastectomy tomorrow and I'm trying to look ahead with a positive view. I am 69 and am told I look young for my age but I've decided against a reconstruction or a skin saving op. it's not like I parade around in the nude in public and my partner of 8 years assures me it won't worry him and is supportive of this decision.

However I am very keen on the idea of a tattoo. I think it is a very positive step to have a piece of art to look at instead of a scar, to even be proud of the fact that I have survived and am living proof of it by trailing the design onto the shoulder. What worries me is the threat of lymphoedema and it's connection, if any to being tattooed. 

I would love to hear from anyone who has had a tattoo after mastectomy, good or bad and how long they waited before having it done. Or even from those who considered it, decided against and why.