Specialist Nursing Solutions Ltd

We use micropigmentation (medical tattooing) to create a semi-permanent image of an areola and/or nipple for patients who have undergone breast surgery and lost colour or structure to this area. The aim of the procedure is to improve the aesthetic appearance of the breast by recreating a nipple and/or areola that matches as closely as possible the opposite side (if applicable) within the limitations of using synthetic pigment. Rebecca and Pam use Finishing Touches pigments, needles and machine. We have practice recognition from many UK private health care providers but also accept self funding patients.


What is micropigmentation?

Micropigmentation (medical tattooing) is a technique used to create a semi-permanent image of an areola and/or nipple for patients who have undergone breast surgery and lost colour or structure to this area.
Pigment (colour) is implanted into the top layer of the skin to re-create the colour and shape of the nipple-areola complex. The aim of the procedure is to improve the aesthetic appearance of the breast by recreating a nipple and/or areola that matches as closely as possible the opposite side (if applicable) within the limitations of using a synthetic pigment. Unfortunately we are unable to guarantee 100% match.
The pigment is applied using a pen-like device loaded with a sterile cartridge (containing a cluster of tiny needles). The needles move up and down at a rapid rate to penetrate the outer and inner layers of skin in order to implant the pigment. Pigments are comprised of iron oxide, titanium oxide, alcohol, water and glycerin. Needles have an 8%-10% nickel content.


Are there any complications or risks?

Micropigmentation will not match 100% any existing nipple or areola complex. 100% satisfaction cannot be guaranteed. The extent of the success of the treatment depends on what expectations are desired, the skin type of the patient and the uptake of the pigment in the skin. As semi-permanent pigment is used (which has been tested as safe for use in women who have had breast cancer), the pigment is likely to fade over time so you may wish to consider top-up treatments. Although great care is taken to select the most accurate pigment shade with you, we are unable to match exactly and your lifestyle may have adverse effects on the pigment colour.

Some of the other risks or complications are listed below:

  • Allergy to pigments/and or topical anaesthetic ointment/cream

  • Infection

  • Fading of the colour over time

  • Colour spreading from the original implanted position

  • Uneven pigment colour over the treated area

  • Not achieving an exact match to a natural nipple/areola

  • Discomfort during the treatment

  • Scarring

  • Bleeding

  • Flattening of a reconstructed nipple

  • Swimming in chlorinated water may cause fading/bleaching of the pigment

All potential complications or risks will be fully discussed with you by Rebecca & Pam. Please ask if you need clarification.


Are there factors that may affect the results?

* Natural skin overtones
* Skin characteristics (dryness, oiliness, sun damage, acidity)
* Medication
* Lifestyle (alcohol, smoking, swimming, jacuzzi, sun exposure, sun bed)
* Individual healing ability (excessive bleeding)
* Presence of any scars


Before the procedure

Most women following breast surgery have altered sensation (feeling) in the area to be treated. The majority of patients have a lack of sensate (feeling) or are completely numb in the area. However, if you do have sensation - please contact us in advance, so we can send you a topical anaesthetic ointment/cream. This is to be applied to the skin 45 to 60 minutes before the procedure to numb the area. Both Pam & Rebecca are able to administer local anaesthetic subcutaneously by injection if needed.


During the procedure

The procedure will be fully explained to you by the micropigmentation practitioner. You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions and asked to sign a consent form. We will go through your medical history, including any medications you take and any allergies you have. This helps us to determine whether there is anything that would prohibit us from performing the procedure for you. If you have any allergies, in particular to hair dyes, make up or metals you will be offered a skin patch-test. Some insurance companies insist that the patient has a patch-test as part of their policy. The patch-test involves applying a small amount of pigment to an inconspicuous area. You will be asked to contact the micropigmentation practitioners 24-48 hours later with the result. You may wish to proceed with the procedure despite having allergies and knowing the risks. In this case, you will be asked to sign a 'patch-test waiver'. Please note that it is very unusual to have any sort of adverse reaction to the pigments.


Patient Participation

Patient participation in choosing the colour and size for the nipple and areola complex is very important. As part of your consultation you will be asked to stand in front of a mirror with the micropigmentation practitioner and with your involvement, we will determine the shape to be tattooed and the colours to be used. If you are having both breasts tattooed (bilateral), the practitioner will help you choose the pigment that closely matches your pre-operative photographs (if available), or one that best suits your skin-tone. Once you are happy with the size and shape, and the colours selected the micro-pigmentation practitioner will use the special machine to implant the pigment into your skin over several layers. The colour chosen will appear darker and brighter immediately after implantation and you should expect to see a fade of up to 40% in the following week. The colours used will be documented in your case notes for future reference to help with colour selection for subsequent procedures


What happens next?

You will be able to drive yourself home and be able to resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. Instructions for aftercare of your tattoo(s) will be provided by the micropigmentation practitioner. The tattoo will take 7-10 days to heal.
• You may experience some slight swelling or redness to the area and the skin may feel tight for the first 24-48 hours.
• When showering, please keep your back to the water jets/shower head. Shower gels can be used but not on the treated area. Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel or clean kitchen roll/paper or gauze.
• Do not pick off any scabs which form over the treated area, as this can remove the pigment. Let these fall off naturally (usually within 7 – 10 days). The skin may ‘peel’ from the tattooed area.
• We recommend that you do not swim, use a sauna or a jacuzzi, or sunbathe until at least 2 weeks after your procedure. This is to prevent fading or bleaching of the colour. After this time, we recommend you apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the tattooed area to create a barrier from the chlorine.