Q. HOW IS THE PROCEDURE DONE?
A. The first step is to select the proper color. A small test patch is done when only one areola needs re-coloring to match the natural existing areola on the opposite breast and also to see if the color heals as anticipated. If, in the follow up visit the test is satisfactory, then the procedure may be completed. Careful measurements are made to ensure placement and symmetry of the areola(s) and ensure that the final result looks incredibly realistic and natural.
Q. WHAT IF I HAD BREAST CANCER RECONSTRUCTION AND I HAVE NOT HAD NIPPLE RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY?
A. Artistic shading can be used to create the appearance of a nipple. Shading below the nipple area can create the illusion of nipple protrusion.
Q. HOW LONG DOES A PROCEDURE TAKE?
A. Usually each procedure is two to three hours. The majority of the time is spent in selecting the appropriate color for your skin, and in measuring and artistically drawing on the planned procedure prior to actually implanting the color. Adequate time is allotted for topical anesthetic, and also for complete aftercare instructions that are reviewed verbally and sent home in written copy form.
Q. IS IT THE SAME AS A TATTOO?
A. It is a form of tattooing, although highly specialized equipment, techniques and pigments are used to re-create the look of a natural 3 Dimensional areola/nipple complex.
Q. WHAT IS MICROPIGMENTATION?
A. This is the name of the process used to implant color in permanent makeup.
Q. IS THE PROCEDURE SAFE?
A. Unlike many technicians that re-use or sterilize via an autoclave the various components of their equipment, we use all pre-packaged, sterile and disposable needles and needle casings. This ensures that you will receive the safest, most sterile form of cosmetic tattooing available. In addition, all of your procedures are done under Federal OSHA standards that regulate the sterile, safe and healthy practices for prevention of cross-contamination from person to person. We comply with all local Health Department regulations, and always have current licenses for both our artists and facility.
Q. DOES IT HURT?
A. Usually there is minimal sensitivity and minimal discomfort. However, even though with breast reconstruction or areas of scarring related to cosmetic breast surgery, there is often loss of sensitivity, some people are still sensitive to deeper pain stimulation. A topical anesthesia is available if needed to numb the area to be treated.
Q. HOW WILL I LOOK IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
A. You may experience minor swelling and redness on procedure day. There is some minor redness, healing and peeling during the first week. The initial sensitivity immediately following the procedure as the topical anesthetic wears off usually dissipates within a couple of hours. The color will be dramatically darker for the first few days after the procedure, lightening as the healing process takes place.
Q. WHEN WILL I SEE THE FINAL RESULT?
A. The initial healed result will be revealed after 7-10 days of healing, however the color tones and details are often not fully revealed until 4 weeks post procedure due to the various stages of normal skin healing. You will return in 6-8 weeks for a follow-up visit to determine if the color tone and depth are satisfactory. It is typical to need some small areas of “touch up” at this visit to perfect the results.
Q. WILL IT LOOK NATURAL?
A. As artists trained and highly experienced in this specialty, we use creative shading and blending to achieve a natural look. The healed result is unbelievably realistic and natural looking.
Q. IS IT REALLY PERMANENT? HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
A. Some people may need the color darkened within two to five years after the procedure. This is typically a nominal fee per breast since it is merely a recoloring of any areas which have lost color intensity, however, the fees are based upon the length of time between refresher color visits.
Q. WHAT FACTORS AFFECT HOW LONG THE COLOR LASTS?
A. The skill of the technician, the quality of the pigments used, the individual's skin type and how dark the original color, is all effect how long it will last. Some lifestyle factors including sun or tanning bed exposure, the use of exfoliating skin-care products and frequent swimming can cause premature fading of the color.
Q. I AM NERVOUS ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT IS PERMANENT. HOW CAN I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE I HAVE IT DONE?
A. We use makeup pencils to draw it on in advance for your approval. Then we are always cautious to keep on the side of light and natural, for we can always add more color later during your follow-up visit. We provide “before and after” photos to show the results of similar procedures. You will see how realistic and natural the end results will be. A well-trained technician will not proceed unless it is determined that the results will be optimal.
Q. WHICH TECHNIQUE DO YOU USE?
A. The most state-of-the-art technology today is the computerized digital system. We use the world famous Xion machine. This system allows for precision artistry, medical grade sterility and with the computer “brain” the settings for the needle speed and depth can be individualized for each person’s skin type and texture. This allows for preservation of the skin’s integrity, and minimal to zero chance of scar tissue or other complications often associated with other permanent makeup tools or machines.