9 After-Mastectomy Tattoo Ideas You Could Try

After undergoing a mastectomy, individuals often seek ways to cover mastectomy scars, reclaim ownership of their bodies and express their journey through art. Others chose to go flat, some decide to get a prosthesis, while some undergo breast reconstruction. The option you choose is entirely up to you. However, this article is a guide for women who are thinking about mastectomy tattoos. These intricate and meaningful designs beautify mastectomy scars and serve as symbols of strength, resilience, and newfound empowerment.

What is a Mastectomy Tattoo?

Breast cancer tattoos are tattoos designed to cover the scars left behind by a mastectomy surgery. Some tattoo studios are capable of placing realistic nipples on breast implants. Women who go flat and use a prosthesis can wear a tattoo. The artistic expression of these tattoos varies widely, with designs often including floral motifs, geometric patterns, or other meaningful elements that have significance to the individual and help the patient deal with feelings of fear of loved ones rejecting their new body.

Can You Have a Tattoo After Mastectomy?

There are low risks to getting a post-mastectomy tattoo but here are the risks involved:

  •  The risk of infection: A needle penetrates the skin, hence there is a chance of infection, especially if the individual is on blood thinners or dirty needles are used.
  •  Allergy to pigment

Professional tattoo artists will do their best to ensure that the tools used are sterile and that the process is as hygienic as possible. It is advisable to let your tattoo artist know anything useful about your health and use the tips for aftercare to heal correctly.

The Importance of After-Mastectomy Tattoos

Mastectomy tattoos play a crucial role in the emotional healing and body positivity journey of breast cancer survivors. Beyond serving as aesthetically pleasing body art, these tattoos hold deep personal significance for breast cancer patients as they symbolize triumph over negative emotions and embracing a new chapter in life.

Preparing for an After-Mastectomy Tattoo

Consultation with Tattoo Artists

Before getting an after-mastectomy tattoo, it’s essential to have thorough consultations with experienced tattoo artists or organizations who specialize in mastectomy tattoos. These professionals can provide valuable guidance on the wait time after breast cancer treatment, address questions and concerns, and collaborate with individuals to bring their vision to life. You can choose to decorate your skin with a 3D areola-nipple tattoo or a beautiful art.

Choosing the Right Design

It is crucial to select a design that holds personal significance and resonates with the individual’s experience. The design process involves a deeply personal exploration of symbols, colors, and shapes that reflect the individual’s emotions, but there is always a wide variety of options. We recommend gathering pictures from articles like these, from friends, and from breast cancer organizations.

Considering Placement and Size

Artists can help determine the ideal placement and size of the tattoo to suit the individual’s body shape and scars, ensuring a beautiful result. Factors such as scar tissue, skin texture, and overall body proportions are carefully considered to create a tattoo that harmonizes with the individual’s physique.


Aftercare and recovery for a mastectomy tattoo are similar to those for a traditional tattoo. Items for aftercare include antibacterial soap for cleansing, pillows for resting, gentle lotion, and light coverage for a few days.

Tattoo Designs

Floral Mastectomy Tattoos

Meaning and Symbolism of Floral Tattoos

Floral mastectomy tattoo designs are celebrated for their symbolism of growth, beauty, and new beginnings—a powerful representation of the survivor’s journey toward healing, renewal, and strength. Flower tattoos help women cover up a large area across the scar tissue.

Popular Floral Designs for Mastectomy Tattoos

From delicate cherry blossoms symbolizing resilience in the face of adversity to vibrant roses embodying love and beauty, many floral designs can be customized to create a unique and significant mastectomy tattoo.

Flowers and Berries

Like all other tattoos with meanings, this tattoo has varying meanings depending on culture. In some cultures, this tattoo represents strength and honor; in others, it represents beauty and graciousness. The kind of berries added to the tattoo gives it more meaning. If it is a blueberry, it symbolizes sweetness in life. If it is a cherry, it is a symbol of innocence and fertility.

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See on Instagram: @savsky_tattoo.

The Peony Tattoo

This intricate, beautiful tattoo symbolizes nobility, honor, love, and beauty. It is pretty common in Japanese and Chinese cultures, and the Peony flower tattoo is often drawn alone as it naturally is with some small flowers beside it. Your tattoo artist can add more elements to the design if you wish.

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See on Instagram: @opossumtail

Tiger and Flower Tattoo

Tiger tattoos are already popular; a mixed tiger and flower tattoo perfectly balances something unique and beautiful. A tiger is a raw symbol of raw strength and power, and you can choose any flower to add another trait to the tattoo.

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See on Instagram: @lmurphytattoos

Single Flower Tattoo

This is another piece of art for women who have had a single breast wholly removed. The skin left behind can be very uncomfortable to draw on, but your tattoo artist can space the sessions to reduce the discomfort caused.

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See on Instagram: @mastectomy-tattoos

Full Chest Flower Tattoo

Some may feel a little uncomfortable having a full chest tattoo, but it is more likely that the entire process of drawing a full chest tattoo can be almost pain-free. This tattoo can be used to cover the flat chest or breast implants without nipples and increases confidence.

See on Instagram: @mastectomy-tattoos
See on Instagram: @mastectomy-tattoos

Geometric Mastectomy Tattoos

Exploring Geometric Mastectomy Tattoo Designs

Geometric mastectomy tattoos offer a modern and artistic approach to body art, symbolizing symmetry, balance, and strength amidst life’s challenges. Sacred geometry elements such as mandalas and geometric shapes can be integrated into mastectomy tattoo, leaving the scar tissue uncovered and adding spiritual and symbolic depth to the design.

Popular Geometrical Designs for Mastectomy Tattoos

Alternate Nipple Tattoo

This geometrical tattoo is usually used in place of a nipple reconstruction or 3D nipple. After the mastectomy procedure, the doctor may need to remove the nipple, among other tissues. The patient can then decide to get a breast implant and draw a nipple tattoo on it.

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See on Instagram: @tat2edbeauty

Nature Tattoo

Some women might decide to add nature or sacred elements to their tattoos. A professional tattoo artist can mimic the shapes and movements linked to family history or a cherished memory.

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See on Instagram: @emiliartattoo

Scared Mastectomy Tattoo

It is beautiful to incorporate spiritual beliefs into one’s tattoo. Spiritual emblems added to tattoos offer deep comfort to breast cancer survivors.

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See on Instagram: @p.ink

Tattoo With Scar

Sometimes, survivors collaborate with their tattoo artists to incorporate their scars into the tattoo. This gives it more meaning and is more common in scared tattoos.

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The Role of the Tattoos in the Recovery Process

Tattoos serve as therapy, helping patients cope with emotional pain and trauma. Cancer survivors are allowed to express their feelings visibly and permanently. Tattoos can also represent personal growth and transformation, reminding them of the recovery journey and reinforcing their self-worth.


Does Insurance Cover Mastectomy Tattoos?

Sometimes. In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of mastectomy tattoos in the physical and emotional healing process for individuals who have undergone breast cancer surgery. Some insurance policies now cover mastectomy tattoos as part of reconstructive procedures. However, coverage may vary, so individuals must consult with their insurance provider to understand their specific benefits and potential out-of-pocket costs.

Can I Have a Mastectomy Tattoo After Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy?

Yes, you can. It’s essential to give your body time to recover (some recommend up to a year before having a tattoo). Giving yourself recovery time will protect your skin and immune system.

Are there any Community Organizations Supporting Mastectomy Tattooing?

Numerous community organizations and support groups are dedicated to providing resources, guidance, and conversations with women considering mastectomy tattoos. These organizations often connect individuals with experienced tattoo artists, provide financial assistance, and offer a safe space for sharing experiences and insights. One such notable organization is the P.ink (Personal Ink), which works to connect breast cancer survivors with tattoo artists who specialize in mastectomy tattoos, fostering a supportive community for those seeking solace and inspiration.





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