21 Mastectomy Tattoos You Have to See

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have to undergo a mastectomy, i.e. the full or partial removal of one or both breasts, possibly including the lymph nodes, muscle tissue, and even the nipples. Some women with a family history of breast cancer may even undergo this procedure as a precautionary measure. Following the surgery, women have several options: some women choose to go flat, some get breast prosthesis, others get implants, some have traditional breast reconstruction surgery, and some undergo areola tattooing. And, of course, there's one option that's a little more colorful than its counterparts: mastectomy tattoos.

 

What is a Mastectomy Tattoo?

A mastectomy tattoo is an artistic tattoo that is drawn on top of the breast area to cover mastectomy scars. Often, women who got implants but did not get nipple reconstruction choose to get mastectomy tattoos. Women who go flat may also get tattoos. Women who are flat are still able to wear breast prostheses and mastectomy bras over their mastectomy tattoos.

In a nutshell, mastectomy tattoos let women reclaim their bodies after enduring the physical and emotional trauma of a mastectomy. The unique artwork allows women to express themselves in a new and beautiful way.

 

Designs

Many mastectomy tattoos feature feminine designs that follow the contour of the breast, but there are endless design options. They can be large or small, and feature anything you want. Create your own unique design or find something beautiful that speaks to you. Tattoo artists who specialize in mastectomy tattoos are able to sketch your ideas and help design a flattering tattoo that is perfect for your body and fits your vision. Just make sure you choose something that you connect with and makes you feel special. 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 1: Floral Double Mastectomy Tattoo by David Allen

Floral Double Mastectomy Tattoo - David Allen

A soft floral tattoo by David Allen. David Allen's beautiful and ethereal tattoos feature soft, muted flowers that emphasize the curves of the body. Allen's tattoos have even been featured at the MoMA in New York!

See more on instagram: @davidallen

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 2: Floral Single Mastectomy Tattoo by David Allen

Floral Single Mastectomy Tattoo - David Allen

Another gorgeous tattoo by David Allen, this time on a single mastectomy.

See more on instagram: @davidallen

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 3: Flourished Tattoo With Watercolor Flowers by Ike Trimboli

Flourish Mastectomy Tattoo - Ike Trimboli

This tattoo by Ike Trimboli features flattering curved flourishes and pretty watercolor flowers.

Check out more of Ike Trimboli's art on Instagram: @amish_mike

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 4: Sultry Flourished Bra Tattoo by Ike Trimboli

Bra Mastectomy Tattoo - Ike Trimboli

Also by Ike Trimboli, this sexy tattoo mimics the look of a bra.

Check out more of Ike Trimboli's art on Instagram: @amish_mike

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 5: Lace and Floral Bra Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Bra Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

Another lacy bra tattoo! This one is by Shane Wallin. We love the colorful and intricate look, as well as the feminine floral embellishments.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 6: Detailed Monochrome Bra Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Bra Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

This Shane Wallin bra tattoo has a whimsical, super detailed look.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 7: Illusion Feather Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Feather Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

The curvature of this tattoo gives the illusion of volume and depth, even though the chest is flat.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 8: 3D Feather Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Feather Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

We love the curves of the feathers and the 3D look of this mastectomy tattoo.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 9: Traditional Tropical Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Tropical Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

This tattoo has a traditional look with outlined waves, a sunset, and tropical flowers. The inspirational quote is a nice touch.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 10: Angel Wing Chest Plate by Shane Wallin

Wings Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

This angel wing tattoo reminds us of armor, so its perfect for this awesome breast cancer warrior.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 11: Classic Rose Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Rose Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

These roses give a feminine yet edgy look. The beautiful shading gives this tattoo nice depth.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 12: Sweeping Cherry Blossom and Butterfly Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Cherry Blossom Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

This cherry blossom perfectly follows the contour of the body. It sweeps over the breast and down the side of the body to cover both mastectomy and hysterectomy scars

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 13: Watercolor Butterfly and Caterpillar Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Watercolor Butterfly Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

The amazing watercolor effect gives an absolutely gorgeous look. The colorful butterfly and caterpillar represent transformation.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 14: Blooming Zipper Tattoo by Shane Wallin

Zipper Mastectomy Tattoo - Shane Wallin

This tattoo covers the mastectomy scar in a very creative and fun way.

See more work by Shane Wallin on Instagram or his websites: @shanewallintattoo // garnettattoo.com // twilighttattoo.com

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 15: Steampunk Dragonfly Tattoo by Stacie Rae Weir

Steampunk Dragonfly Mastectomy Tattoo - Stacie Rae Weir

The steampunk gears, flower and delicate dragonfly create a unique combination of natural and industrial. Stacie-Rae Weir makes beautiful mastectomy tattoos, but her specialty is actually 3D nipple tattoos; learn more about Stacie-Rae and 3D nipple tattoos here.

See more of Stacie-Rae's work on Facebook: @ARTareolatattoos

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 16: Colorful Flowers and Butterflies Tattoo by Samantha Rae

Butterfly and Flower Mastectomy Tattoo - Samantha Rae

Colorful, vibrant, and feminine, this tattoo features pink flowers and various butterflies. It's basically a girly-girl's dream.

Check out Samantha Rae's work on instagram: @samrtattoo

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 17: Watercolor Blossoms Single Mastectomy Tattoo by Stupenka Tattoo

Watercolor blossom single mastectomy tattoo - stupenka tattoo

This delicate watercolor tattoo perfectly follows the mastectomy scar, incorporating it as part of the design.

See more by Stupenka Tattoo on Instagram: @stupenka_tattoo

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 18: Double Mastectomy Tribal Tattoo

Double mastectomy tribal tattoo

This tribal tattoo is simple and minimalist. It's a good option for someone who wants a tattoo to cover their scar, but doesn't want to get anything big or embellished.

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 19: Lace Top Tattoo

Lace top mastectomy tattoo

This complicated tattoo looks like a lace top. Intricate details and shading make this tattoo very special.

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 20: Double Flower Tattoo by Josh Robinson

Double flower mastectomy tattoo - Josh Robinson

This lovely tattoo features twin flowers on each breast. The pink, purple, and green creates a charming and colorful look.

See more by Josh Robinson on Instagram: @mrfancypants

 

 

Mastectomy Tattoo 21: Geometric Rose Tattoo by Austin J. Evans

Art Deco Rose Mastectomy Tattoo - Austin J Evans

This clean, geometric tattoo resembles stained glass and gives an artistic, art deco look.

See more by Austin J. Evans on Instagram: @austinjevans

 


 

Questions & Answers:

 

Why get a mastectomy tattoo?

There are different reasons why women choose to get a mastectomy tattoo.

Many decide to get tattoos because of complications with reconstruction or to avoid more surgeries. Reconstruction surgery can be a very intense, long, and painful process. For this reason, some women choose to opt out of or stop reconstructive surgery and go flat. Still other women have issues with infected implants and end up removing them altogether.

Some women simply choose to go the tattoo route because its a beautiful, creative, and expressive option.

 

How long do I have to wait to get a tattoo after my surgery?

Typically, doctors advise waiting 3 years after your mastectomy before starting the mastectomy tattoo process.  Note that the timeline varies from person to person. Always consult your doctor before starting the process.

 

How Do I Choose the Right Tattoo Artist?

Before settling on a tattoo artist, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Do Your Research

Visit shops, look up reviews, and check out portfolios. A great rule of thumb is to not choose the first shop your visit - research several before making a choice.

Be Aware

A tattoo artist should let you know the downside of tattooing scar tissue. Scar tissue can be tattooed, but the color may have a slightly different hue or exhibit issues holding ink. Again, this varies from person to person. A knowledgeable tattoo artist will not only provide you with this information, but also try to incorporate any scarring into the tattoo design for the most natural appearance.

Know the Risks

  • Pigment Allergies - Have a patch test completed first
  • Diseases, such as HIV or Hepatitis - All credible tattoo artists will provide a clean environment and sterile equipment
  • Color/Pigment Fade – This is a common occurrence with any tattoos. For best results, avoid swimming or sunbathing for at least two weeks after being tattooed to reduce the likelihood of fading. If you plan on being in the sun, make sure you use apply plenty of sunscreen to help reduce the risk of fade.

 


 

Having to endure a mastectomy takes a physical and emotional toll on any woman. However, mastectomy tattoos give women a way to take back control of their bodies and truly express themselves. Do you or someone you know have creative mastectomy tattoo? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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