A GLAMOROUS tattooist is helping breast cancer survivors feel comfortable taking their tops off – by inking ‘3D’ nipples on to their new breasts. Vicky Martin, 42, has become a legend among breast cancer survivors for her speciality in re-creating nipples on boobs. She has tattooed amazing life-like areolas on to more than 100 women who had them removed as part of their breast cancer surgery.The pioneering 3D Breast Reconstruction expert and tattooist said: “Nipple and areola restoration is the most rewarding job. I feel truly blessed to be able to give this gift. “I am usually the last stranger to touch a cancer survivor’s breasts after they have gone through all that painful treatment, both physically and mentally. It’s an honour to be able to give these strong women their confidence back. Once I’ve tattooed and restored the nipples, it gives the woman back her self-confidence so she can step out of the shower, look down and feel great again. I’ve seen how much of a difference it can make in a woman’s outlook, they have cried with happiness when I’m finished.” Around 60,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year – one every 10 minutes – while 11,600 people die from the disease. Those diagnosed with the cancer often undergo mastectomies which involves the removal of all or part of the breast. Surgeons often remove the nipples as well which can be grafted back on – though this technique does not always work. But at her tattoo clinics Vicky is helping women regain their confidence by tattooing ‘3D’ nipples on to their chests. We visited the Springwell Clinic in Marlow, Bucks., where former bank manager Sarah underwent the technique to have new nipples inked. The 57-year-old breast cancer survivor told how she had thought about committing suicide after her breast was re-constructed but had no nipple. We watched as medical tattooist Vicky spent an hour inking the ‘3D’ nipple on to Sarah’s 40D breast to re-create her old look. After the treatment, a tearful Sarah – who had a breast removed and reconstructed by the NHS in 2013 – said: “Wow, I’ve got a nipple. It’s a new me and will give me heaps more confidence and I can reveal myself! I’ve really perked up and look like a normal woman for the first time in years. I might even sunbathe topless but think I’m a bit old for that! It’s absolutely astounding, just brilliant. The new one looks the real deal and make me feel sexy once more.” Speaking of her post-cancer look, the single Tesco cashier said: “I was suicidal because I felt my body had let me down. “I looked in the mirror and saw a blank mound of flesh. It was nice and firm because of the implant but it was a new boob with no nipple which constantly reminded me of the cancer. Life wasn’t worth living.” Single Sarah was first diagnosed with breast cancer nearly four years ago after a routine mammogram. She opted for the free breast-check after losing her best friend to cancer five years before. She explained: “It was sheer luck I had the test. I was diagnosed with a hormonal ‘milk duct’ cancer which completely shocked me but if I hadn’t found out it could have killed me. Sarah had previously had a nipple tattooed on to her breast by an NHS nurse but said ‘the colours were wrong and it didn’t look right’. But she turned to Vicky’s special 3D Breast Reconstruction nipple technique after reading glowing reports on social media. Now women from all over the world are winning back their confidence with the expert technique offered by Vicky. She uses state-of-the-art technology and a combination of colours and shading as a part of the 3D Breast Reconstruction process in order to create optical illusion of a nipple. The tattooist believes surgeons often overlook the importance of restoring survivors’ nipples. Vicky said: “I create an optical illusion of a convincing protruding nipple from a flat surface using the finest sourced needles. They’re very similar to a pen and create a softer touch on the skin with precise and stunningly real results. These women have been so courageous in their fight against cancer and it’s such a rewarding job to help them be proud of their bodies again. Some women opt for nipple grafts but they don’t always work so the only option is to have them tattooed."
Our Marlow clinic is open 6 days a week:
Monday – 9am to 8pm
Tuesday to Friday – 9am to 5:30pm
Saturday – 10am to 2pm
Sunday – Closed
Appointments 01628 308 060