Nipple tattooing machine

Breast reconstruction staff with League Chairman David Stratton and the new nipple tattoo machine

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust have again benefitted from the very generous donation of funds from Salisbury Hospital League of Friends which has allowed the purchase of a new medical grade nipple tattoo machine.

The impact of breast cancer can have long lasting effects; in particular those associated with body image. The effects of treatments such as mastectomy - where breast tissue and sometimes nipples are removed - can greatly impact a patient’s self-confidence and emotional recovery.

Some women may decide to have breast reconstruction surgery, but this is a very personal choice. Following their breast reconstruction, a new areola (the coloured disc surrounding the nipple) can be created using a technique called 'intradermal micropigmentation' or nipple tattooing. Many women find this procedure enhances the results of their surgery, making it appear complete, and this can aid their physical and psychological recovery. The breast reconstruction nurse practitioners Sister Stephanie Fear and Sister Anne Francis can carry out the procedure approximately 6-8 weeks after nipple reconstruction. Some women will choose not to have a nipple reconstruction and in this case tattooing can create an illusion of a three-dimensional nipple. The nipple tattooing procedure takes about an hour during which a semi-permanent pigment is injected under sterile conditions.

Miss Slade Sharman, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, and the Breast Reconstruction Plastics Unit are delighted with this new piece of equipment and are extremely grateful to the league of Friends. Dr David Stratton, Chairman of the League of Friends, commented, “We fund a number of important projects every year and are very pleased to have been able to lend our support to the whole Salisbury Breast Reconstruction Team with the wonderful work they do to help with the recovery process following surgery. We are always grateful for the donations that we receive from the public that enable us to fund these projects that bring huge benefits to so many people.”