After breast reconstruction following mastectomy, women want to look good in the mirror. 3D nipple tattoos can make a significant difference, but not many people know about them. So what are 3D nipple tattoos?

During most mastectomies, the diseased tissue in the breast is removed, often with the nipple and areolas.  With breast reconstruction, a standard approach for the areola area in many hospitals is to apply some permanent coloring where the nipple would be. But the look is flat and the color unrealistic. This last step after all the surgeries and treatments is significant, and if not done well, can just be a visual reminder of pain and disease. 

But there are other options. Nipple reconstruction is one option, but this is yet another, complex and invasive surgery. An alternative which means you can forego the need for nipple reconstruction is to have a 3D nipple tattoo.  

 A 3D nipple tattoo uses color, light, and shading to yield the “illusion of protrusion.” 

Who does 3D nipple tattoos? 

These procedures may be done by a plastic surgeon, a highly specialized tattoo artist, or a permanent cosmetics professional. So how do you choose? 

Each will have different training. One of the critical things with 3D tattoos is that there is considerable color and shading artistry involved to make the tattoo look three dimensional. 

While your plastic surgeon may be good at the construction part, frequently they don’t have the training in the artistry to make something 2-dimensional appear 3-dimensional. 

And if you are looking for a tattoo specialist, you obviously don’t want just anyone from a tattoo parlor.  You want someone who has experience in this area. 

One such specialist tattoo artist is Sasha at dragonflyink in San Francisco.  She works exclusively on nipple tattoos and scar work. This is what she does day in and day out.  So finding someone with that sort of experience is essential. In fact, Sasha now runs training courses for medical professionals in 3D nipple tattoos.  

Making the decision

It is a big decision to have a permanent tattoo – but also a big decision to have invasive nipple reconstruction instead.  

There are now some temporary 3D tattoos that women can try which last a couple of weeks. These may help a woman decide on whether the tattoo is an option she wants to pursue. 

If you decide to have a 3D permanent nipple tattoo, be sure to ask to see some photos of previous work of anyone you consider. Judge for yourself from the results of their work.  

Making a difference

These procedures can make a massive difference to women’s lives. Some women say they can now look in the mirror at themselves, whereas they had avoided it for years after reconstruction. Take a good look at all of your options before making a decision. 

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