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Sep 27, 2017 08:03PM
Thank you all for your replies to my post. I did drive out to Vinnie Myers shop in MD this August (2017), made the trip from Detroit. It was 1100 miles round trip. I decided to take my family (husband and two kids) and make a mini vacation out of it. The tat was done by one of Vinnie's "team" members, not Vinnie. They were all very nice, but they 'strongly recommended' that I get the 'healthy breast' tattooed also. They did not ask for pre mastectomy pics. I visited their website and on the site they made a big deal of 'making sure the customer has the right color mix', and encouraging the client to be a big part of that process. When I got there, it wasn't like that at all.
The tattoo artist had me wait in the waiting room "while he mixed the color". Then when I got in to the room to get the tattoo, he gave me a slight sample of what he thinks it should look like and I wasn't sure so I just said "ok". I figured they knew what they were doing and it would come out looking okay. But when i took the bandages off a few hours later, I realized that my areola on the left was DARK, kind of brown with a red nipple in the middle, since the nipple was a real nipple grafted from the healthy one. My left breast looked and still looks like of like a target. It has been 7 weeks now and not much has changed. It is still brown.
The artist said I could make the 1100 mile round trip back in a 'few months after it takes time ot heal' but also defended himself by saying that I should have brought 'before pics' if I wanted it to look a certain way. He also said that he was upset that I was not happy, and that I 'agreed on the color choice'. The guy kept talking about how 'it will fade in a little bit of time, just give it time....' and 7 weeks later he said "well you never know with areolas, especially reconstructed ones." I think they should make that a little clearer in their advertising that it might not be what you expect.
My 'healthy breast' looks okay, but of course they do not match and the artist told me he will not be able to get them to match. I would not want the 'healthy breast' to match the recon breast anyways because the recon breast is brown. I have red hair and fair skin, and the areolas used to be pink. Now I feel like Spuds McKenzie.
A few weeks ago, I found Lovely Monkey tattoos in the Detroit area, and after a a consultation with them, they said what Little Vinnie's said was not true about not being able to get the breasts to match. I posted my concerns on a Facebook BC group I joined, and they deleted my comment. I was just trying to warn others that they should bring 'before photos' before going to ANY tattoo artist.
I was able to get the 'pre mastectomy' photos from one of the PS that took pics. That was not the one who actually did the surgery, so I was glad that they had the pics after 4 years and were willing to give them to me. I sent them to Little Vinnie's, and they told me that they would not have been able to tattoo them that color anyways.
***If any of you are considering going to LV for areola tattoos, I strongly suggest getting and bringing and sending them 'pre' photos so they can tell you ahead of time if they can meet your expectations. ***
The Little Vinnie's artist also said he is moving out of state in February, so I'd have to go back to MD sometime between November and February if I want a shot of them doing it right this time.
SHOULD I TRUST THEM? Could some advice here.
Both tattoo artists suggested a possibility is getting a laser tattoo removal to fade the tat before getting it re-done. I'm pretty upset. I have a hard time trusting ANYONE after this experience. Thanks in advance for your feedback. LD
6/14/2013, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2-
7/30/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
12/9/2013 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
2/9/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
10/9/2016 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction