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France’s first post-mastectomy tattoo parlour opens

A tattoo parlour claiming to be the first in France entirely dedicated to post-mastectomy nipple and areola reconstruction for breast cancer survivors has opened in Marly-la-Ville (Val d’Oise).

The Tétons Tattoo Shop aims to create realistic-looking tattoos for breast cancer survivors who have had mastectomy surgery and subsequent breast reconstruction.

The tattoos are not "traditional” as such, and instead of coloured pictures or symbols, actually recreate the look of a natural areola and nipple - something that many women do not have after breast reconstruction surgery.

Owner and tattoo artist Alexia Cassar, a former biologist who used to work in cancer research and has many tattoos herself, said that she wanted to open a shop to help women “finish the reconstruction process”, and give them hope after many operations to save and reconstruct their breasts.

The tattoo parlour uses “3D tattooing”, a technique said to come from the United States, to create a long-lasting, personalised and realistic look.

Cassar said that the parlour is very different to usual tattoo shops, and has been designed to be cosy, welcoming and feminine.

“Reconstruction is both physical and emotional,” she explained to the HuffPost France.

“I have combined my own experience of working against cancer, and my own love of the artistic side of tattoos, to completely dedicate my salon to this kind of tattooing. I look forward to welcoming women here who have suffered breast cancer and helping them with this final stage of recovery and reconstruction.”

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