How Medical Tattooing can impact the people around you

Accidents and illnesses can effect the person injured deeply, but do we really understand the impact it can have on friends and family members. Do they actually tell us for fear of adding to our already difficult time in life?

Children will often be more open and honest, and if they are able to verbalise their emotions we can learn a great deal from them. 

A patient of mine and I were talking about her Medical Tattooing for Nipple Areola reconstruction after a mastectomy. This was her second treatment and I was asking her opinion of the result and any impact it may have had, if any. She had a very close relationship with her nieces. Her brother, their father had died a few years previous and she spent a lot of time looking after them.

What she told me had a profound impact on me, and the relationship of Medical Tattooing to a wider community than I had imagined. Here’s her story in her own words.

“Dear Rae

I cannot thank you enough for the fabulous results I have had from my nipple tattoo, not only the results themselves but also the impact it has had on my nieces, let me explain…  From 2016 to 2020 I lost my brother, father and mother, and the impact on my nieces who were 5 and 7 at the time my brother (their father) died, was greater than we had imagined. We thought they were doing what children do and just getting on with life. During this period in 2017 I was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts, with no chance of saving the left breast and a significant lumpectomy in the right.

I typically have my nieces to stay with me quite regularly and consider that we are quite close, the children normally will rush into the shower with me if I am in there and they continued to do this after my mastectomy. I had had an implant put in straight away but it clearly did not look ‘normal’ to them so they asked me lots of questions including, asking me if I was very poorly. I realised they were very sensitive to my being poorly having just lost their father, but underestimated how concerned they were until their mother rang me. She asked me to reassure them that I was not going to die, and had really recovered, because the older one was waking in the night worrying that I would also die. 

I had a conversation with them on their next visit and they seemed okay with it but a little unconvinced because the scaring and the breast still didn’t look normal to them, so they had something they could visibly see that was not as it should be.  

I had a diep flap reconstruction in 2018, a nipple created and then finally my areola tattoo to finish it off. I cannot even tell you the impact that had on the children, they were at my house for the weekends, same routine, I go in the shower they both rush in with me. I had had the first tattoo session, so not the finished article but the children were absolutely stunned. They rushed in the shower, stood still in their tracks and jumped for joy that I had been ‘fixed’ because all my ‘parts’ were now back. They were so thrilled to see that I had been ‘put back together’ and I heard the big one telling the little one she didn’t need to worry anymore because Auntie was okay now.

The impact was truly shocking for me. I had no idea how sensitive the children were to the issue and had clearly underestimated it. Their mother called me on their return home to tell me they had told her that I had been fixed and they were sure I was not going to die anymore!

In addition to the impact on the children, for me personally it has taken away the visible evidence that I had an illness that could have changed the course of my life forever. I rarely think about it anymore and feel proud and confident of what I have been lucky enough to have been left with – Thank you!”

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