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Methodist introduces first in-house 3D nipple tattoo for survivors of breast cancer

Breaking News Home / Health / Methodist introduces first in-house 3D nipple tattoo for survivors of breast cancer October 20,…

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Home / Health / Methodist introduces first in-house 3D nipple tattoo for survivors of breast cancer

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Photo: Photographed by Marialuisa Rincon

Photo: Photographed by Marialuisa Rincon

Houston Methodist Woodlands & Steven Gordon and Benjamin Albright introduced 3D nipple tattoo at the hospital’s Institute of Reconstructive Surgery for women who have healed from unilateral and bilateral mastectomies. Their first patient, Pamela Harvey, is the first patient’s procedure in mid-November.

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Houston Methodist Woodlands Steven Gordon and Benjamin Albright introduced 3D nipple tattoo at the hospital’s reconstructive surgery for women who have healed from one-sided and


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Photo: Photographed by Marialuisa Rincon

Even after her second breast structure, Pamela Harvey was not herself.

Almost six years later, she chose to treat her cancerous carcinoma with a one-sided mastectomy, Dr. Steven Gordon of the Houston Methodist Woodlands Institute for Reconstructive Surgery corrected Harveys breast asthma in January after her original reconstruction in Louisiana left a contouring anomaly.

But still she said something was missing.

In November, Harvey will be the first patient to receive 3D tattoo nipple and isola reconstruction at Metodist – and the first patient in Houston has its nipple and areola reconstructed with ink on a major hospital system.

“Looking at myself without having it done – I’m not complete,” says Harvey.

The program is the first tattoo service offered internally at any major hospital system in Greater Housto n area, Gordon said. Before he and The Institute’s doctor Benjamin Albright realized the 2017 survivor survived breast cancer survivor in Houston who underwent a mastectomy and subsequent breast structure to private tattoo artists by his plastic surgeon. With the built-in 3D nipple and isola tattoo procedure, Gordon and Albright’s patients can complete the entire breast reconstruction with their own surgeon. 19659023] “It makes a difference that it is offered here because they have been with me through this trip, says Harvey. “I have trusted Dr. Gordon.”

There are several nipple remedial options for patients like Harvey, who chose to undergo a mastectomy rather than a large lumpectomy and radiation to treat her breast cancer.

Nipple and isola reconstruction is usually considered to be the last step in a breast structure, Gordon said. A patient may be entitled to an osteoarthritis mastectomy, but Harveys cancer was too close to the isola. Or another option is a skin graft to create a nipple appearance, but that method loses the projection rather than later, Gordon says.

Often, patients will choose a nasal nipple – a piece of silicone or cartilage placed to give the appearance of a nipple. Not a good option for Harvey, she said – it would always be nice.

“As a woman, you have breast and you have nipples,” said Harvey. “This was not even available to me six years ago.”

End of line

Instead of building up the breast with a silicone implant, Gordon made an autologous reconstruction on Harvey in January using fat from her abdomen, instead of repeating her previous implant-based surgery and risk rejection from the body. or subsequent pain and infection.

“It’s the last step in restoring the breast to its original state,” said Gordon.

But, for Harvey, it’s also the end of a painful six-year story.

The decision to substantially amputate one of her breasts was not easy, she said. With the breast comes intrinsic femininity – with the removal comes hesitation and a sense of incompleteness.

“It’s always with you,” said Harvey. “But this is the last step in looking into the mirror and feeling more normal.”

Although the tattoo – or any other nipple rehabilitation procedure – does not restore the feeling of what is often seen as one of the most sensitive parts of the body will contribute to the aesthetic aspect of the breast.

In mid-November, Harvey arrives at the Methodist Institute for Reconstructive Surgery, and is chaired by Paola Cordero, Gordon’s Assistant and Institute Patient Coordinator, who was responsible for carrying out the procedure due to her background in skin care and permanent make-up.

From start to finish, the procedure takes about three hours – the bulk will be used to measure placement of tattoo and color matching the permanent ink to Harvey’s original breasts. Like any other part of the body, every tattoo is like a work of art – the depth and shadow creates the appearance of a three-dimensional nipple and gives a sense of being whole for every woman who receives it.

The procedure has already gained much interest in both the institution’s existing patients undergoing breast surgery and women are reviewing similar treatments in hospitals around the country. At the moment, Gordon said that the institute started small – dealing with each patient on a case-by-case basis and making sure they are both physically and emotionally ready for it.

And Harvey becomes the first.

mrincon @ chron.com

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