Mastectomy Tattoos | 15 Proud Designs from People with Experience
Doctors use both mastectomies and lumpectomies to remove parts of the body with risky cysts and cancerous tumors. Sometimes, they remove the whole breast; Other times, they only remove portions of the breast. Normally, at least one breast stays, but sometimes doctors need to take both. The procedure usually leaves large and uneven scars in the region where they removed tissue. While it is my personal belief that scars do not define the image of a person, there are many out there who find it incongruous with their self-image. For those people, finding ways to cover or remove scars sounds completely reasonable. Hands-down, the best way to hide them is mastectomy tattoos. They turn an unwanted marking into a piece of art that you want to show off!
Before you consider getting a mastectomy tattoo, ensure your body can handle it. Tattoos create huge wounds, so your body and immune system will need some time to recover after your mastectomy before confronting a healing tattoo. After your doctor releases you from your hospital stay, take care dealing with the fluid from the surgery site. Your doctor will probably tell you how to measure the fluids and care for the area to ensure everything heals properly.
You should be able to get a tattoo six weeks after the last scab falls off of the area—but always be sure to double check with your doctor to see if your body can handle a tattoo. If the area is cancerous, it would be a terrible decision to promote growth or healing in the area, as tattoos do. But, if you get the clear from your physician, you can finally start to reclaim the area.
Tattoos to Cover Mastectomy Scars
Tattoos are the best way to cover mastectomy scars. Their first function is, of course, to conceal the scar. Many tattoo artists are well-versed in covering bad tattoos or adding on to good ones, so they should have no trouble at all designing something that perfectly obscures your scar. The second function of mastectomy tattoo designs is to reclaim your skin. You’ve gone your whole life with a boob there, and now that it’s gone, you might find your physical body incongruous with your personal body image. While you could just get breast recovery surgery from a plastic surgeon, that method would hide the trial that you and your body have gone through. A mastectomy tattoo repurposes the area without invalidating your past experience.
Mastectomy Tattoo Designs
It might seem strange for me to say this, but the designs available for the area of a mastectomy is vastly larger than the equivalent area containing a breast. With breasts, artists have to think about the curve of the skin and how to make a design that still looks good from all angles. The less pronounced the curve, the more things an artist can squeeze on there. Instead of being limited to lotus flowers, roses, tree branches, and sea shells, you can pick from almost any design you desire.
Popular mastectomy tattoo designs include birds in flight, jewels, geometric designs, quotes, and large and inventive animal portraits. And, although I gave a spiel about not being limited to flowers, they still make for an excellent tattoo in the area, especially if you want others to perceive a curvy surface. Sakura branches in particular represent renewal, regrowth, and victory through tribulations. Lotus blossoms represent purity despite pain and adversity. All of these are very well suited to depicting your triumph.
Creative Mastectomy Tattoos
Some especially creative tattoo artists might opt for a bra-like design. The outline of a bra is drawn in Celtic knots or tribal stripes, with a kaleidoscopic scene depicted in the center. It can be abstract, cartoonish, or simple. These types of mastectomy tattoo designs work best for people with a double mastectomy or particularly flat-chested ladies. The results are stunning, so if you meet the criteria, you should definitely consider designs like this.
Many tattoo artists will give you partial or total discounts for covering scars with mastectomy designs. Of course, you shouldn’t walk in expecting free stuff, but many people are proud to help those in need. They jump at the opportunity to make a difference in your life. It just goes to show that humans are generous by nature!
After Mastectomy Tattoos
After getting a mastectomy tattoo, it should take six weeks to heal. Since this area has already seen lots of trouble, you might want a doctor to overlook the healing process. Your tattoo artist should give you accurate care instructions for the first few weeks. On the other hand, the advice of your doctor ensures that the area is not infected and continues to be cancer-free. Eating lots of vitamins that boost the health of your skin—namely, vitamins A, C, and K—will help your body handle the additional stress.
We go into much more depth about tattoo after care in a separate article that you can peruse. But, since your mastectomy could affect the recovery process, you should check in with a doctor every week or so just to be sure that you’re doing well. Complications are rare, but also dangerous. Taking precautions goes a long way to keeping your body safe and healthy!
Related Article: How to Care for Your New Tattoo!
Mastectomy designs are not just a way to cover a scar. They declare to others that you own your body and have conquered your past. After months of required recovery, it can be difficult to imagine yourself going back to your ‘normal old self.’ And, in that regard, you would be right. There is no way to remove the experience from both your mind and your body. Instead, you can wear it with pride. You can show off your battle scars, convert the area to a display of art with a mastectomy tattoo, or even opt for breast reconstruction surgery. Your mastectomy defines your past, but you control your future.
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