WOMEN
10/31/2014 09:48 am ET Updated Oct 31, 2014

Vinnie Myers' Amazing Tattoos Help Breast Cancer Survivors With Transition

One tattoo artist is using his talents to help breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy.

In a HuffPost Live interview on Oct. 30, Vinnie Myers explained how he helps survivors transition into their post-breast reconstruction bodies by providing realistic nipple tattoos. After a plastic surgeon asked Myers to assist with a few tattoos, he got more involved in the process for which he is now so well-known.

As Myers explained, the art of designing a tattoo that looks just like a nipple isn’t different from any other tattoo, but working with a reconstructed breast requires extreme care.

“You’re talking about women who have had all of their breast tissue removed. They’ve got a very thin skin flap,” he said. “Some of the women may only have a millimeter or two of tissue left on the outside of the muscle in the implant. So if you approach it in the same way you approach a regular tattoo, you could do a lot of damage to these women, and you end up doing a lot more harm than good.”

Myers, who now creates up to 2,000 nipple tattoos every year, is happy to see his line of work make such a difference in the lives of breast cancer survivors.

“I really wasn’t ready for the impact it would have. Not on them, but also on me,” he said. “And something so small and something as little as a nipple tattoo can mean so much and be so big in the lives of these women.”

Check out more amazing stories from breast cancer survivors here.

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