3D Areola Paramedical Tattooing

What is Areola Tattooing?

Most widely known for helping breast cancer survivors after surgery, 3D realistic designs can be tattooed post-mastectomy to recreate the areola and nipple. These tattoos play an important role in the recovery journey for survivors, specifically helping to regain self-confidence and body positivity.

How long after surgery can you get your areola tattoo?

When tattooing over scar tissue, it is important to wait until the scar has fully ‘matured.’ This can take anywhere from six months to two years depending on your individual circumstances, surgery types, and/or cancer treatments. Seeking the advice of your consultant, surgeon, or medical professional is recommended.

Before Your Appointment:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before
  • Make sure you are feeling well
  • Eat a good meal at least 2 hours prior to appointment
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine for 24 hours prior to appointment
  • Avoid aspirin-based medication for 48 hours prior to appointment
  • Please note you cannot be tattooed if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking antibiotics.

What to expect at your appointment:

At your appointment, you will have a detailed consultation. Ann will review the drawing and tattooing process with you, answer any questions and discuss placement, nipple style and colors.

Appointments take between 1 – 3 hours, depending on the type of tattoo(s) you are having done.

Color swatches are done on the breast area to establish a suitable color palette for your skin tone and desired look. For a unilateral mastectomy, the natural areola is matched as best as possible in appearance, placement and color. For a bilateral mastectomy, placement, shape and size are discussed and drawn on to compliment the breasts and create balance and symmetry.

Once the design prep is complete, you will be laid back comfortably on the bed and the process will begin, taking approximately 30-50 minutes per nipple.

You will need a follow-up appointment after 8-10 weeks. During this appointment, Ann can make any adjustments to color, shape and detail.

Does it hurt?

Yes and no. Surgical incisions and skin/nipple grafts frequently cause damage to the nerve endings in that area; meaning sensation and pain is minimal, if at all, during a process. The area is pre-numbed with a topical anesthetic and a secondary numbing agent is used during the process if needed.


Because this procedure is done in a hospital, it is typically covered by insurance. Edgerton Hospital will authorize and bill your insurance.

Appointments: 608-884-1390

Ann Rudel, Paramedical Tattoo Artist

Ann has spent the past 39 years in the healthcare field helping people be their physical best through her role as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. For the past 7 years, she has also been helping people look and feel their best through the artistry of permanent makeup. Her extensive knowledge and passion for permanent makeup and paramedical tattooing make her a highly skilled and versatile artist.

 As a double mastectomy breast cancer survivor herself, Ann understands what you have been through and will aid in closing the final chapter of your healing process.  

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