Mastectomy Tattooing for Cancer Survivors – A Q&A with the Inova Schar Cancer Center
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Marnie Rustemeyer is a licensed and board certified permanent cosmetic professional at Inova Medical Spa at Schar Cancer Institute. A former Wall Street executive, Marnie is a thyroid cancer survivor and a breast cancer “previvor.”  She began her career in medical tattooing after being diagnosed with the BRCA gene mutation and undergoing a preventive double mastectomy. Through her own experience, she garnered a passion for helping patients feel beautiful and confident after such an emotional and demanding journey. They can find medications from canpharm.

hand resting gently on a shoulder

Inova Medical Spa is pleased to offer medical and paramedical tattooing services in partnership withMediInk. Medical micro-pigmentation (tattooing) is an innovative solution used for:

  • Breast reconstruction: 3D areola/nipple simulation for both female and male mastectomy patients
  • Discolorations: Hypo-pigmentation (areas of the skin that are light)
  • Alopecia: Hair simulation for scalp and eyebrows
  • Scar camouflage: Surgical scars, including facelift, open-heart surgery, trauma scars and skin grafts
medical tattooing brochure
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Download our printable brochure (includes before & after medical tattooing photos)

What is Medical Micro-Pigmentation or Tattooing?

Permanent micro-pigmentation (tattooing) techniques involve implanting custom color pigmentation into the dermal layer of the skin. Medical and paramedical tattoo practitioners can create 3D realistic visual reproductions of lost tissue areas with amazing results.

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

Are medical tattoo pigments MRI safe?

The pigments are manufactured in the United States and are the highest quality available, resulting in excellent color retention and beautiful results. Our pigments are sterile and made from iron oxides, which are MRI safe.

Is the medical tatooing procedure painful?

Most of the time, there is no pain in a reconstructed breast. If you do experience pain, we will apply a topical anesthetic to make you more comfortable.

How long will a medical tattoo last?

Some initial fading will occur in the first two weeks. We will schedule a follow-up appointment after 6 weeks of the micro-pigmentation process to see if a touch up is necessary. If taken care of properly, your new tattoo should last a lifetime.

How does medical tattooing help with alopecia?

Medical tattooing can help conceal hair loss by creating a natural-looking stippling pattern that mimics hair follicles on the scalp. According to an article on Scalp Micropigmentation published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, “Patient satisfaction is very high” for this type of procedure.

How does medical tattooing help camouflage discoloration and scar tissue?

Medical tattooing uses specialized pigments to give the appearance that is closer to your original or natural skin tone.

For micro-pigmentation procedures of the nipple, how do I choose the color and size of my new areola?

During your consultation, we will work together to determine the best size of the 3D nipple/areola for your new breast and color to match your skin tone. Once the color and size are agreed upon, we will create dimension with color and shading, giving you a realistic nipple and areola, find more .

Is there anything I can do for the scarring on my breast?

Depending on the type of scar, it can often be camouflaged. Scar camouflage pigments are selected to closely match the surrounding skin and then carefully tattooed to blend with it. The result is a natural skin-like appearance. This process works best for hypo-pigmented scars that are lighter in color than the surrounding skin.

Will the needle puncture my implant?

No, the needle only goes into the dermis, which is just 3 layers into the skin.

How should I prepare for a micro-pigmentation procedure in the breast area?

On the day of the procedure, wear a comfortable bra. If you have photos of your breasts pre-surgery, please bring them. The entire procedure lasts approximately 1.5 hours, and the results are amazing.

Should I remove hair from the treatment area prior to the procedure?

You may pluck or shave the hair 48 hours prior to your tattoo procedure. However, leaving the hair untouched will not affect the tattooing.

Is there downtime after the procedure?

There is no downtime following the procedure. However, we do advise against rigorous exercise for the first 24 hours and soaking in bathtubs, swimming pools or Jacuzzis for at least 7 days.