There’s no denying that mastectomy tattoos can be both beautiful, inspiring and badass. For many people affected by breast cancer, it’s the last step in the mastectomy and breast reconstruction journey and a symbolic ritual that is empowering to move into the next chapter of life. By adorning their bodies in a highly personal design, these individuals are taking back their power and starting over.
These post-mastectomy tattoos serve as a form of self-expression and help restore confidence that was lost throughout the mastectomy or reconstructive process. Single or Double mastectomy tattoos are an artistic way to hide or camouflage scars left behind after mastectomy, can help someone feel better about their new body shape, or to highlight and celebrate surgery scars.
For many, tattooing new F(OO)Bs or getting a nipple tattoo can help reclaim confidence after your breast cancer, breast surgeries, and treatments. If you are interested in getting a mastectomy or nipple tattoo, the first thing (and most fun) part of the process is finding inspiration! Finding an artist you love is key, and there are many mastectomy tattoo artists and nipple-areola tattoo artists as well.
We’ve seen some pretty spectacular mastectomy tattoos, so we’ve included a few of our all-time-favorites to inspire you below.
You can never go wrong with a beautifully designed floral-inspired tattoo. Feminine, floral mastectomy tattoos are a great way to get in touch with your feminine side, and can also be a way to play homage to your scars and even your nipples if you lost them during surgery.
Floral mastectomy tattoos are an inspired way to celebrate your body. Picking flowers with personal meaning to you or that personifies beauty will help you view your breasts after mastectomy or reconstruction surgery after breast cancer in a positive light.
AnaOno Founder and CEO, Dana Donofree reclaimed her power and expressed her creative prowess through a romantic floral mastectomy tattoo designed to resemble the shape of a demi bra. “Getting the mastectomy tattoo changed the course of a lot of things in my life because that was the moment when I took back a choice: I live my life. I make my own decisions.”
Floral tattoos are often chosen after a mastectomy surgery because they are a beautiful design that also can disguise scars.
Tattoo artist, David Allen (@davidallen) designed this tattoo for his client after her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. His work often features symbolic flowers special to the survivor or thriver getting the tattoo, using the design to beautiful disguise scars and enhance the new form of his clients. Photo courtesy of David Allen.
Conceal your mastectomy or reconstruction scars and express your creativity with a watercolor mastectomy tattoo. Playing with the placement of your mastectomy tattoo design can help you find a clever way to incorporate your scar as part of the tattoo, or to completely cover it up with the beautiful design. Flowers, trees, and leaves are often a chosen mastectomy tattoo design because they are beautiful, versatile and can be drawn to cover up or celebrate, depending on your preference after breast surgery.
Do you want your mastectomy tattoo to inspire strength and the badass warrior babe you are? Intricate designs, using bold or geometric graphics or taking influence from tribal patterns will sure make a statement. Tribal breast tattoos after single or double mastectomy is a subtle way to remind you of where you’ve been, and of the beautiful goddess you are after your mastectomy and reconstruction.
Beth Fairchild, President of Metavivor, NYFW model, and a longtime supporter and friend of AnaOno, is a metastatic breast cancer thriver, but was actually a tattoo artist who frequently designed 3D nipple areola tattoos for breast cancer patients way before receiving her own diagnosis As an artist who specializes in 3D areola tattoos and as a thriver herself, she knows how meaningful mastectomy tattoos are. Her tattoos (done pre-mastectomy) are colorful, intricately designed, and are spaced across her chest, down her arms and all the way to her fingertips. Almost like a suit of armor, Beth shows the power of full coverage mastectomy and breast tattoos and reclaiming your body and breasts despite living with metastatic breast cancer.
Geometric mastectomy tattoos are an innovative way to play with the curve and shape of your breasts and body after breast reconstruction or mastectomy. Choosing lines or detailed shapes that go straight across the breasts is a sexy and subtle way to cover scars from mastectomy or place over where your nipples used to be.
Breast and thyroid cancer thriver, Priya Mistry’s tattoos are a combination of geometric and floral print. “For most people, tattoos are just ornamental. But for me, they're war paint and a serious confidence booster. They've been a life-changer for me.”
Priya shows off her geometric mastectomy tattoos. Photo courtesy of Priya Mistry.
Mastectomy tattoos are an artistic and empowering way to reclaim your body after a mastectomy. No matter what style or artist you choose, you will have a piece of art on your body that will remind you every day that you are a beautiful, unstoppable warrior.
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Dana Donofree is joined by Dr. Brannon Claytor to answer your questions about the ASPS news that some surgeries are being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Claytor is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Main Line Heath and owner of his private practice, Claytor/Noone Plastic Surgery.