HEALTH

Nipple tattooing artist Vinnie Myers helps breast cancer survivors

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FINKSBURG, Md. (WJLA) - They come from South Dakota, Oklahoma and all over the world. They're women who've battled breast cancer and mastectomies. Implants have given them back their shape, but no nipple or areola.

Just outside of Baltimore, Vinnie Myers is putting the finishing touches on their reconstruction processes with his extremely detailed nipple tattooing techniques.

"The doctors and nurses in their offices have done the tattoos traditionally in the past," said Myers. "And it's just kind of a new thing that tattoo artists have started to pick up this procedure."

Myers, who started regular tattooing while in the army, mixes a wide pallette for a 3-D effect. Too often, he says, women just get the basics. Women say the process doesn't hurt much, since a lot of sensation is lost during surgery.

Myers charges about $400 for one side, $600 for two. Insurance is supposed to cover it, but often doesn't.

Myers says he's done some 4,000 nipple tattoos since he got started. It only takes about an hour. But the impact lasts a lifetime.

"Do people kind of look at you funny when you tell them what you do for a living? Yeah," explained Myers. "I get some pretty strange looks."

For a look at Vinnie's work, click here.

 

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