“You made me feel real again.” That’s often the response when tattoo artist Mandy Sauler works with clients who have recently been through breast cancer treatment. Her office is often the last stop in a long journey of treatment and recovery. Sauler specializes in 3-D nipple tattoo reconstruction for women who have had reconstructive surgery, making breasts look more natural for survivors.
“They look in the mirror and their mouth just drops open and they’re back to normal,” said Sauler. She has been an artist for more than 17 years. Sauler learned from her mother who owns a tattoo shop in Downingtown. For the past 7 years, she has focused on the cosmetic side of the art through tattooing eyebrows or hair. When she found her focus, Sauler discovered the need for nipple tattoo reconstruction and the process became effortless.
“Doctors had been doing the procedure before, but now tattoo artists are working on making them look more realistic,” said Sauler. “When they look in the mirror, they have a focal point. The focal point takes away from all of the other scars, you almost don’t see them anymore. They fade away in the background. It’s amazing what you can do with something so little.”
Sauler says there are still many women who end their recovery process without going through nipple reconstruction. She wishes more survivors knew that the tattooing is healed within days, there is no down time, no restrictions and no pain with the help of anesthetics.
Two days a week, Sauler works with breast cancer survivors at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center. She also works out of her offices in Plymouth Meeting and Exton and frequently travels to Manhattan.
Sauler’s Web site shows before and after pictures of breast cancer survivors taken after their 3-D nipple reconstruction. If you would like to see the photos or learn more about Sauler’s services, click here.