Highlights » Lifestyle » Vol. 38

Medical Tattooing: Body art that lifts the spirit and rebuilds the sense of self

By Paul Collins

In the last decade, the medical community has made astounding strides in combating breast cancer. Survival rates are significantly higher than they were just a few short years ago, and the quality of life for people affected has improved dramatically, so there is real cause to feel encouraged.

However, in the wake of this tangible progress having been made, the sobering fact is that breast cancer still remains a raging worldwide epidemic. One aspect of the disease that is not widely spoken about is that for many survivors, the post-surgical recovery phase is, in its own way, a daunting challenge.

Likely, the vast majority of people today are unaware of the tie that binds many breast cancer survivors to tattoo artists. In the wake of having had a single or double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, areola and nipple tattoos are becoming increasingly popular procedures for women who have battled breast cancer. So popular, and now accepted to such a high degree, that most insurance companies now reimburse patients for medical tattooing procedures.

profileroseandlauerIn central Massachusetts, Rose Andlauer provides the experience and expertise in medical tattooing that helps women to regain their self-confidence and a positive self-image.

Andlauer started her career as a senior piercer and became intrigued with medical tattooing. She has been the owner of Miraculous Creations body art studio in Worcester for more than 21 years. Today, she is a licensed cosmetic artist who combines her unique skills and genuine compassion to provide help to breast cancer survivors. By creating nipple and areola tattoos that deliver the natural results that clients are looking for, Miraculous Creations and Andlauer are making a positive difference in the lives of women who need a reason to smile again.

Speaking of her clients, Andlauer said, “They often go through multiple surgeries. This is extremely traumatizing mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. When they are finally done with the treatments, surgeries and recovery, they are left without nipples, and this is devastating to both men and women, and they just don’t feel whole. Every time they look in the mirror, they are reminded of what they went through, what they lost, and worse, what they fear.”

Fully licensed by the Worcester Department of Health, certified in permanent makeup and para-medical micropigmentology, Andlauer can create the appearance of a nipple using a 3-D technique. She brings a sense of purpose and sensitivity to her work that comes through loud and clear when she speaks of it.

“I am so honored to be doing this work and to have the opportunity to meet and work with these amazingly strong women,” she said. “Many people have had this done by the plastic surgeon that does their implant surgery. However, I have not seen one that was done correctly. These women go through too much to then get bad work done by plastic surgeons doing the tattoos that they are simply not trained to do. I have been doing repairs of plastic surgeons’ work, and I feel it’s best for plastic surgeons to do the implants and leave the tattooing to a specialist.”

According to Andlauer, a woman or man having this work done would need to plan for about 2½ hours per breast. The cost is $225 per breast or $400 for both breasts, and the procedure is done in two visits. A second visit is scheduled approximately 30 days later for a touch-up application, where color can be refined.

So who is Rose Andlauer? Not just a tattoo artist; to those women who she has helped, she just might be an angel with a tattoo gun in her hand.

Miraculous Creations is located at 387 Park Ave. in Worcester. For more information, visit MiraculousCreations.com.

Paul Collins is a freelance writer form Southborough.

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