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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: Tattoos over the scars

Topic: Tattoos over the scars

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Jul 20, 2010 08:26AM, edited Jul 20, 2010 08:27AM by taranebraska

taranebraska wrote:

I'm still in decision mode (and anxiety ridden, but today is a good day) - as I have new spots on mammo in June 2010 and MRI with 3 cm of "disease", which, with fingers crossed, is really just ADH ... BUT - I am leaning toward double MX without reconstruction.  Am looking forward to being flat - currently a 38C, almost D.

Who's done cool tattoos over the MX scars?  I've found some neat art - horses - to give me strength.  Anyone?  I've found a website or two - but no discussion.  Thanks!

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Jul 20, 2010 09:59AM Traci-----TripNeg wrote:

I haven't done them, but I just recently came across them too. Can't remember who sent it to me - imagine that.

What a wonderful idea and so cool!! I sent the link to my one sister that hasn't had BC, but she did have Uterine cancer and she HATES her verticle scar from her hysterectomy. Now, if only I can convince her it would be okay with God to tattoo over it. :)

Good luck with whatever you do girl!!!

Trip Neg BRCA + If I never look behind me, my troubles will be few. Supertramp.

Dx 2/12/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 20, 2010 04:51PM Turtletots wrote:

That's my plan too. I had a bilateral mastectomy in April of this year. I had a large scar from my ovarian cancer surgery 13 years ago too--want to incorporate that as well. It would be a HUGE tattoo if that was the case, so we'll see. One word of caution though--I've heard many people, plastic surgeons and also tattoo artists alike, tell me that you really need to wait 3 to 5 years to do the tattoo--to really let the tissues and scar heal properly. So lots of time to plan and save for it!

http://facingmastectomy.blogspot.com/

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Jul 20, 2010 04:56PM Turtletots wrote:

By the way--I was a 38G before, so i know about going from big to flat--it's very freeing! I miss my boobs, but not enough to get foobs at this point.

http://facingmastectomy.blogspot.com/

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Jul 22, 2010 01:27PM barbe1958 wrote:

It's been my plan from the start. My surgeon said one year after surgery. I'm past that point, but I've found a butterfly tatoo that is very lacy and gentle as I have to cover both sides (large wings). I had to decide between a new sofa and the tatoo and got the sofa. Tatoo is still in the works though.

Remember, reconstruction ladies get aerola tatoos......Kiss

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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Jul 23, 2010 06:40AM taranebraska wrote:

Thanks for your input ladies! 

barbe1958:  love the thought of a butterfly.  I love horses, but can't find a real feminine looking one yet.  My partner loves daisies, so maybe I'll try that route too.  Have you found where you'll do the tatoo as well?  I'm wondering if they need to have certain qualifications.

I meet with the plastic surgeon today.  I need to re-look at some posts about different implants, just so I'm ready with more questions.

Tara, BMX 2010, TCH start 9/3/2010, 1997 Hodgkins survivor

Dx 8/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 08/28/2009 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 08/10/2010 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)Chemotherapy 09/04/2010 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 09/04/2010 Herceptin
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Jul 23, 2010 06:59AM barbe1958 wrote:

I'm making sure that I go to a licensed place, that's for sure!!

Are you going to tatoo over implants?

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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Jul 23, 2010 09:08AM, edited Jul 23, 2010 09:09AM by aspen

I'm getting ready for my second tat.  The first was for my 45th bday and is just a single red rose on my right side.   I am a 3 time survivor and had lumpectomy/radiation to both breasts before #3 resulted in bil. mastectomies and I chose not to have reconstruction.   I was told to be careful with tats on radiated skin.   I am 5 yrs out from mastectomies and  6 yrs out from last radiation.    But.... I've got plenty of skin elsewhere for tat #2.   I am of Scottish ancestery and I want a Scottish thistle with a pink ribbon wrapped around it instead of having a tartan wrapping.  My DH has found the tat with the tartan and all I have to do is get the tat. artist to change it to a pink ribbon.  Because of the radiation past, I'm scared to try to cover the mast. scars, so now where to put this next tat. ?????  Oh, this one will be for my 55th bday and to celebrate finishing up my five years of Femara (I hope).   Lots of online ideas and your artist may be able to help with the designs.

Rita 3 time survivor

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Jul 23, 2010 05:37PM Laurie_R wrote:

I love tatoo's and it sounds very interesting to cover my scar with one.  Can someone give me a starting place to recearch this on line?

Laurie R Brown

Dx 11/15/2009, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 23, 2010 06:14PM barbe1958 wrote:

I jsut googled tatoo sites and then you pick a cateorgy (celtic, goth, nature, etc) and there is tons to search! You can buy the picture and have your local guy/gal do the work. I didn't want a dark, heavy one so I have picked a light airy wispy butterfly that will join both sides of my scars...some day.

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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Jul 24, 2010 04:50AM anne26 wrote:

I got a amazing circle of pink ribbons on by shoulder after my DX. I am planning to tatto over my bil mast scars as soon as possible post op. Choose a design that has meaning and go for it. It is never to late, I got my first tat at age 51 and have been working with a local artist to design the tat for my mast scar. Look at others tattos and ask where they got them if you find something you like. I can recommend someone in michigan.  anne

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Aug 5, 2010 05:14AM aspen wrote:

My DH and I went to the tattoo place last night to get our designs drawn and set up appointments. At least, that was the plan.  Now, DH has a Scottish Rampant Lion on his leg (he already has 4 tats) AND I have a Scottish Thistle wrapped with a pink ribbon on my shoulder blade!!!!!    I love it- my DH has a similiar one and I wanted mine to look like his.  The artist just made mine look more feminine and added the ribbon.   Got my first at 45, now my second at 55 (almost).   Of course, right in the middle- I had a hot flash !!!!!!!  Remedy- cool cloth, cool water and Skittles.  : )

Rita 3 time survivor

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Aug 23, 2010 01:28PM purplemb wrote:


i had a pink ribbon done first on my front shoulder area.. then my mast scar.. 3 roses , one for each of my boys...

www.pinkstock.webuda.com A website to find help

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Sep 12, 2010 10:59PM 3jaysmom wrote:

i cant tatoo; have ms, and mrsa with every little cut, surgery, etc, but love tatoos. i have a wild idea of getting a tattoo artist to make a stencil, and ill use henna... i already use it for neuropathy. i hope itl wear well, with sweating, etc..light and love    3jaysmom

3jaysmom

Dx DCIS, 2cm, Stage IIb, 1/27 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 04/21/2009
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Sep 16, 2010 05:40AM renee-tattoos wrote:

YOU can google temporary tattoos and have a field day......

There are so many to choose from.......

I think this is a great alternative or a great primer to see if you want

something permanent. 

www.ReneeMaschinot.com Medical/Cosmetic Tattoo Artist...........www.PinkInkProject.com......links to artists

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Nov 2, 2010 05:59AM Onetoughwoman47 wrote:

LOVE your scottish idea....when I was diagnosed in 2006, I drove from IL to NY state, my close friend Amy and I got tats that day, I'm a landscaper, artist, quitler and creative person by trade and enjoy anything with tats, etc.  I had a floral anklet done with pink ribbon fading into purple....as I was in remission the first day I was diagnosed....I had my two sons names put into each side of loop...I'm going to try and take a pic...any place we can post pic's?  Would love to brain storm on ideas with you gals if interested!

"Life is what you make it, always has been, always will."

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Nov 2, 2010 07:45AM NancyD wrote:

Actually, since I had my reconstruction (I had a bilat DIEP last January), I've been debating whether to get natural looking areolas tattooed or do something more decorative and personal. I'm the only one who will be seeing them intentionally (no hubby), except for medical personnel.

So I was thinking a full blown rose would be lovely and capture the circular nature of an areola...or some kind of Celtic knot to go with my heritage. Maybe something different on each breast?

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.

Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 03/22/2008 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, Taxotere
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Nov 2, 2010 08:26AM aspen wrote:

I just added a photo of my tat (to my surprise, I must have pushed the right buttons as it actually worked).  The pic. is not the best, but the colors are very vibrant.  Now getting ideas for another one with a magnolia (I am a Southern Belle even though I now live in PA).  The tat. artist is working on a design with vines in it.  I'm a closet tat. junkie and don't want them where they will show in shorts or sleeveless tops.  My DH on the other hand has two on each leg, one on each upper arm and now a beautiful Celtic Cross on his back.  And he's not thru yet.   It can be addictive.  Nancy D- my first tat was a rose and I still love it.

Rita 3 time survivor

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Dec 8, 2010 11:40AM Onetoughwoman47 wrote:

Nancy D - great idea...I visited another thread and received contact for woman who does 3D tats in des Plaines...PM me for more info.

Aspen - your funny, closet tat junkie...I'm on my way with the same, oh I have so many ideas and drawings myself...won't happen though until I can get some funds up for that treat to myself...in fact, I want a new one once my 5 yr. rolls around, Mother's Day 2011!!!  My own drawing of the Tree of Life!!! very appropriate for me and I'm sure others...

"Life is what you make it, always has been, always will."

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Dec 8, 2010 11:43AM Onetoughwoman47 wrote:

3jaysmom- you can't have tats with mrsa? why? or is this just your own precautionery plan? mrsa has been around for ages, just more in the "news" now and more and more cases being reported...I didn't think tattooing was taboo? Just curious, thanks.

"Life is what you make it, always has been, always will."

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Dec 8, 2010 11:49AM Onetoughwoman47 wrote:

My god, I had one of two tats done on my right wrist, same side as BC right after I had bi-lat, approx. 5 months later, no problems anywhere, but then again, I exercised my arms everyday without any issues of lymphodema.  I know no blood stix on that arm for sometime and believe me many have tried and  one got away with it in the middle of the night when she grabbed my arm so hard, etc., she was pretty nasty and scary looking and had had a bad day with blood draws all over the hospital...in fact, after my incident on my return a few weeks later, she was let go...amen to that...I fought with her bedside insisting NOT to draw from my right arm, dang where was that nurses call button when I needed it!!! LOL

"Life is what you make it, always has been, always will."

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Dec 8, 2010 02:56PM barbe1958 wrote:

Don't know why this thread didn't pop up as having new posts, it's been in my favourites for like ever!

Nancy I love the ideas of roses, they are soft and organic. A Celitic knot is more geometric and hard edged. JMHO....for what it's worth.

Where are those pictures someone above said they posted? I don't see any here. You can post them on this thread you know.....

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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Dec 11, 2010 01:13PM HairSprayMom wrote:

After 3 yrs of trying for reconstruction and complication after complication, I am finally throwing in the towel. I am having my left side deconstructed and my right side is already deconstructed 6 months ago. I am having a chest tattoo done as well, I think it is a GREAT alternative to all of the surgeries! XOXO

DX @37 Sep. 2007 Metaplastic Carcinoma Trip Neg Stage 3B (1&2cm tumor on chest wall) "Always remember CAN'T never could get anything done!"

Dx 9/26/2007, 3cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2010 04:35AM starzhere wrote:

Does anyone have pictures they can post or post a link to pictures?  I've been thinking about some cherry blossoms.  I want something that covers a large area, but that is femine and delicate.

Dx 10/31/1989, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/12 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Dec 14, 2010 06:13AM barbe1958 wrote:

I want to do a whispy butterfly, with the wing tips going end-to-end on my scars....

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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Dec 15, 2010 11:40AM aspen wrote:

I was surfing for tat. ideas and came across a picture of a woman who had had a celtic "bra" tattooed (sp?) on her chest following bil. mastectomy.  From the looks of it, it went all the way around her body just as a bra would do.   Can't imagine how long this took and is definitely more than I want, but it is amazing.  Can't remember where I found it though- duh.  Now you girls have me thinking about a butterfly one as well.  My husband had one on his arm (done when he was in the Army with too little money and too much beer).  He had it covered with a Celtic Trinity which turned out well.  I still miss the butterfly though. 

Starzhere, one of my DIL had cherry blossoms done on her shoulder- beautiful and very delicate.

Rita 3 time survivor

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Dec 22, 2010 01:53AM, edited Aug 20, 2013 03:27AM by riley702

aspen, I've seen that tat and loved it! I have Celtic knotwork on my right ankle and the top of my right foot, done years ago. I'm contemplating a tat on my left shoulder/back to commemorate my fight with this @3$#^* disease. A friend facetiously suggested an angel on my shoulder and laughed when I grimaced, as I don't "do" cute and fluffy. But since then, I've revisited the idea of a larger tat of a rather no-nonsense guardian angel with a drawn sword and a wicked grin on his face that would suggest "You'll have to go through me first!" Maybe in medieval dress, perhaps a surcoat with a Celtic cross on it to keep some continuity to my other tats.

More on topic, I'm leaning toward no recon and would consider mastectomy scar tattoos, but not sure how big or what, except nothing cute and fluffy. Or pastel. Or with a pink ribbon. No offense to those who like them, but I really don't like them, even beyond the fact that they're pink (see: no pastels). Laughing

Carolyn - 6 months neoadjuvant chemo (clinical trial), BMX and rads. Dx'd and treated as TN. After MX, I was informed my tumor was weakly ER+ after all (8%)

Dx 1/26/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Targeted Therapy 02/09/2010 AvastinChemotherapy 02/09/2010 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, Taxotere, XelodaSurgery 09/05/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 10/19/2010 ExternalSurgery 12/14/2010 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right)Hormonal Therapy 01/01/2011 TamoxifenHormonal Therapy 08/08/2011 AromasinHormonal Therapy 01/15/2012 Arimidex
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Dec 28, 2010 06:53PM renee-tattoos wrote:

Hi aspen

This might be the site you saw the celtic designs for breast cancer........ 

www.luckyfish.com/pages/blarney/breast.htm 

www.ReneeMaschinot.com Medical/Cosmetic Tattoo Artist...........www.PinkInkProject.com......links to artists

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Dec 28, 2010 10:05PM riley702 wrote:

Renee, I was thinking of this one:

http://blingdomofgod.com/2007/12/celtic_tattoo_bra.html

Carolyn - 6 months neoadjuvant chemo (clinical trial), BMX and rads. Dx'd and treated as TN. After MX, I was informed my tumor was weakly ER+ after all (8%)

Dx 1/26/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Targeted Therapy 02/09/2010 AvastinChemotherapy 02/09/2010 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, Taxotere, XelodaSurgery 09/05/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 10/19/2010 ExternalSurgery 12/14/2010 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right)Hormonal Therapy 01/01/2011 TamoxifenHormonal Therapy 08/08/2011 AromasinHormonal Therapy 01/15/2012 Arimidex
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Dec 28, 2010 10:33PM mrsnjband wrote:

Wow, all of those tatoos are really awesome! NJ

Norma June, Bi-lateral MX 2008, Bi-lateral DIEP 2011

Dx 1/10/2008, IBC, <1cm, Stage IIIb, ER-/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 01/25/2008 Adriamycin, CytoxanChemotherapy 03/10/2008 TaxolChemotherapy 05/29/2008 TaxotereSurgery 07/10/2008 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 08/11/2008 ExternalSurgery 08/15/2011 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 08/15/2011 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Left)Surgery 12/12/2011 Reconstruction (Left)
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Dec 29, 2010 03:16AM xiaoni wrote:

from the moment I had my portocath inserted, I have planned to tattoo over that scar with a phrase of "Perseverance" in Chinese characters, since I was performing in a Chinese Opera during my chemo treatment (very difficult btw!). I had my last Herceptin treatment yesterday and will have my port removed on Jan 6. I was hoping to get the tattoo ASAP but researching online has made me think that I have to wait a year. the original scar is 13 months old and healed nice & flat but Doctor will have to rip it open again to remove the port. Has anyone tattooed over their port scar and how long after it was removed? 

Dx 10/16/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+

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