Questions & Answers
About Medical Tattoos

Is it painful?

The tattoo is typically a painless procedure if mastectomy has been done however a topical anesthetic will be used for any sensitivity issues.

I have a certification in administering local anesthetics, understand the chemistry and years of clinical experience so have a deep understanding of the process and how to make you comfortable. Pain is also relative to each individual and can be influenced by stress, caffeine or hormonal levels. However, I use the best anesthetics and do not rush the process of making you comfortable.

How long do the results last?

In time color may fade and need to be freshened but usually only after a few years. I use only pigments composed of iron oxides which naturally oxide or seem to lift as the skin turns over with time.

How many visits do I need?

The completion requires minimum of two sessions with a healing time of about 6-8 weeks In between. My rate includes both sessions.

How long is the appointment?

For a bitaleral tattoo, first session requires 1.5 to 2 hours. Unilateral or one areola nipple will take 1 to 1.5 hours.

Can I use my insurance?

Please call your insurance company in order to determine your coverage for areola tattooing after breast reconstruction. Clients are required to pay upfront for all services provided by Andrea Atelier.

We will provide you with a letter of medical necessity and an itemized receipt that has all the info insurance companies will need to reimburse you. However we do not guarantee reimbursement. Andrea Atelier is not in network with any insurance company therefore we cannot pre-cert or pre-authorize this procedure.

TIPS: Get referral letter from your plastic surgeon (this will increase you reimbursement). If you are told you must see someone in network, please ask the rep to find someone in-network. (It's very unlikely they will find someone in their network so you want to ask for an out-of-network exception or gap exception).

How is Medical Tattooing different?

Medical tattooing is unique and not for traditional tattoo artists. Aside from the gentle instruments and proper ink, it is essential to have critical training and understanding of the patient’s medical condition, history and procedures. This all influences the canvas you work on and will present unique characteristics and solutions for each case. Some may require more sessions and some require less, especially if just extending or smoothing irregularities of what they still have or blending of the scars.

What do I do when it starts to fade over time

When color starts to lighten it may be time for a touch-up tattoo appointment to refresh the design and color. The timing widely varies depending on the saturation of pigment deposited and one’s own skin and exposing elements.

Are the pigments safe?

Yes, the pigments I choose come from the highest quality, most reliable reputable source in the industry. I use insoluble non-toxic naturally occurring iron oxides or metal salts essentially. They are not affected by physical or chemical surroundings so perfect for a stable facial aesthetic tattoo. There are artists who use small molecule black carbon pigments which is totally safe but I choose not to risk the chance of spreading in the skin and fading to blue gray.

When the iron oxide fades it looks more natural or unnoticeable. This is an artist decision. I chose to only use iron oxides and nothing that fades to red or blue which I have seen coming from clients for correction (Red brows are scary!). I have also seen misleading marketing information using word “organic” with what we typically associate meaning natural and void of chemicals, BUT they are actually synthetic “organic” chemicals. While yet safe, I choose not to use these as it does not give the best long term result for the type of art I want to provide or that I am comfortable with.

Can I workout, exercise or break a sweat?

For the first 48 hours it is best take it easy and keep it clean as the skin’s protective seal is being formed. Mild exercise is okay the first week but nothing strenuous causing a sweat or increased blood pressure or inverted upside down poses. It is important to keep treated area out of direct shower spray, salt water, saunas, lake or pool water for the first 7 to 10 days.

Can I have a few drinks?

It is best to avoid alcohol 24 hours prior and 24 hours after procedure. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and would have increased bleeding and swelling.

What if I am allergic?

Tattoo reactions may occur from days to years after the placement of a tattoo just like anything else, but this occurrence is very rare and topical patch tests have poor predictability. Usually those who have developed sensitivity or allergies to topical makeup are good candidates for permanent cosmetic tattoo.

Can I do this if I am pregnant or breast feeding?

The correct answer is no. There is no logical reason why this would pose a problem during breast feeding but it is recommended to avoid permanent cosmetics during this time. The purpose of this is to leave to room for analyzing whether the tattoo would be a related cause of something.

Can I do this if I have been diagnosed with cancer or history of cancer?

If the cancer history is recent or occurred on the area of treatment, consult with the physician first to see if you are a good candidate. Anyone undergoing radiation or chemotherapy or any aggressive treatment would need to postpone treatment until cleared by your physician.

I have annual MRI scans, is that ok?

Tattoos generally have not been posed a problem with MRIs. Pigments contain iron oxides may cause a warming or tingling sensation but generally cause little to no irritation but always advise to consult with a physician. If screening the cerebral region best to avoid eyeliner procedure as may render unreadable around the eye area.

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