Updated Feb 12, 2014 - 7:39 am
Peoria tattoo artist helps breast cancer survivors
PEORIA, Ariz. -- A Valley woman is helping breast cancer survivors look like their old selves.
When you walk into Simple Body Art near Arrowhead mall in Peoria, you'll find tattoo artist Mary Anne Baker.
Five years ago, she saw that there was a need for tattoo artists offering restoration tattoos to breast cancer survivors.
"I'm a bit of an artist, so I took my permanent makeup tattooing, combined it with my artistry, and do beautiful 3-D nipples," said Baker.
She teams with East Valley reconstructive surgeon Dr. Emese Kalnoki-Kis to offer a special 3-D tattoo technique to create more realistic looking breasts for the patient.
"We spend time with the patients and draw (the nipples) on," Baker said. "The patient gets to have a part in the placement, and the size, and the shape.
"All of those things are very individual and very personal. When they look in the mirror, I want them to see as close a resemblance as possible to where they were before cancer."
The procedure is done in about two hours, with a follow up visit in about six weeks. It costs $400, and is covered by many insurance companies.
Baker has heard of only one other tattoo artist in the country doing the 3-D reconstructive method, and that person is in New York. She said that there are other valley artists doing breast reconstruction tattoos, but not with the 3-D method that she has become known for. She says she has had many patients come to her to repair mistakes that were done by other artists.
"If it looks like a pepperoni was tattooed on to your chest, that is not 3-Dl nipple tattooing," Baker said. "It's just not."
Bob McClay, Reporter