This post is from a patient, she was generous enough to share her experience after breast cancer where she underwent implant breast reconstruction surgery here and followed up with permanent 3D areola tattoos from a prominent US tattoo artist, Vinnie Myers.

Remember that 70’s commercial jingle?

“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.
Almond Joy got nuts, Mounds don’t”

That’s me in a nutshell, pun intended!

After three long, sometimes painful years of post-op recovery
I am ALMOND JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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For those of you that are unfamiliar, here is the commercial:

My husband and I recently returned from Finksburg, Maryland where I got Vinnie’d. Yes, I finally got my ‘nats’, that’s nipple tattoos, for the uninitiated. This is the last box to tick (please, please, let this be true) on my checklist of post-op procedures.

Monday, June 13, 2016: the big day is finally here. I’m anxious, excited and nervous; it’s really going to happen, no more delays. We arrive early, so we wait at reception. Little Vinnie’s is not your typical tattoo parlor. It’s bright and painted a sunny yellow with a pool table in the middle of the reception area. Robyn, Vinnie’s wife, greets me. I fill out the form and while I sit and wait, I read the album of Thank You cards to Vinnie. I read each and every one, and became very emotional as I read them. Would I feel the same way? Are my expectations too high now? It makes me even more anxious.

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I see Vinnie before I meet him. He’s as dapper as he is in his photos; dressed in a neat shirt and tie, skinny pants and a little fedora. And what a tall drink of water! I mean look at him, he’s head and shoulders taller than me! So, why is the place called Little Vinnie’s Tattoos?

Robyn calls my name, and I’m shown into a private room.
I undress and wrap myself in a paper gown. In Vinnie walks, and it’s finally happening. We talk about what I’ve been through and I’m thoroughly impressed by his knowledge of breast cancer; the different types there are, the drugs prescribed, the affects of tattooing on radiated skin.

He brings out silicone nipples and puts them on me for the placement. We talk about colour and size. He measures. I let Vinnie know I’d prefer them to be on the smaller and paler side; that it must pass the white t-shirt test. And then he’s expertly, custom mixing my colour for MY areolae and nipples! I was impressed by the level of cleanliness and hygiene with gloves and alcohol wipes.

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Then the buzzing of the needle starts and it begins. I expected to feel no pain. As with most mastectomies, your nerve endings are gone; they’ve been cut off. Yet I could feel the sting of the needle just a little bit and then more and more as the pigment was infused. Zzz, zzz, with each injection of pigment I can see an areola emerging! In some ways I welcomed the pain, as that meant I could feel. As I started to
feel more and more uncomfortable, the nipple began to take shape and the more elated I became. The pain meant I had breasts and not just mounds anymore. Feeling pain meant feeling – period. Something I hadn’t experienced for years.

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In less than an hour, I have perfectly coloured and shaped areolae and nipples! I had lived so long without them, it was just something I accepted as my new normal. It truly was a transformative experience: from mounds (no offense to my incredible surgeons) to complete breasts. I can’t express the elation of having Vinnie completely surpass my expectations!!! Seeing Vinnie was the last step, the cherry on top. I feel like they are really real now. Vinnie made them real for me. It’s a terrible understatement to say: I looooooooove how they look!

I am grateful and thankful I was able to go to Finksburg and have them done with my husband by my side to share this transformative experience.

I am ALMOND JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Find out more about breast reconstruction options by booking an in-person consultation with Dr. Macadam.

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