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Nurses trained to tattoo nipples to boost body confidence after breast cancer surgery

Bradford staff say it makes patients ‘feel complete’
Nipple tattoo service team

Bradford staff say it makes patients feel complete

Two nurses have been trained in the art of nipple tattooing to help boost the body confidence of patients after breast cancer surgery.

Breast care nurse specialist Charlotte Ward and plastic surgery trauma sister Tammy Bingham completed the training last month.

An alternative to nipple reconstruction

Instead of using tissue to rebuild a nipple and areolus, women can choose to have these vital structures tattooed, Ms Ward said.

Alternatively, a nipple can be reconstructed with local tissue and then only the areolus is tattooed.

Breast cancer support charity Bosom Friends Bradford donated 3,000 to Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to fund the two-day training course.

Bradford staff say it makes patients ‘feel complete’



From left: Julia Sunderland from Bosom Friends Bradford; breast care nurse specialist Charlotte Ward; consultant surgeon Andrew Williams; and plastic surgery trauma sister Tammy Bingham

Two nurses have been trained in the art of nipple tattooing to help boost the body confidence of patients after breast cancer surgery.

Breast care nurse specialist Charlotte Ward and plastic surgery trauma sister Tammy Bingham completed the training last month.

An alternative to nipple reconstruction

‘Instead of using tissue to rebuild a nipple and areolus, women can choose to have these vital structures tattooed,’ Ms Ward said.

‘Alternatively, a nipple can be reconstructed with local tissue and then only the areolus is tattooed.’

Breast cancer support charity Bosom Friends Bradford donated £3,000 to Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to fund the two-day training course.

‘Nipple tattooing delivers the "finishing touch" for patients who have had reconstructive surgery after breast cancer, and is carried out after the breast has had time to heal,’ Ms Ward said.

‘The finished tattoo is incredibly realistic and our patients are delighted with the results because it makes them feel complete.’


Picture: iStock

Consultant breast reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon Andrew Williams said he was pleased that the trust now has two nurses proficient in nipple tattooing – a skill historically performed by doctors.

The emotional benefit of tattooing

‘It’s absolutely vital that the NHS provides this service as part of breast reconstruction following a cancer diagnosis, as women often get very down and many can’t even look at their bodies in the mirror,’ Mr Williams said. 

‘When they get their nipple tattooed, it’s as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders and you see them smile again, which is fantastic.’


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