Micro-pigmentation: implications for patients and professionals

by Science Editor
Nursing Article

The authors discuss the role that Nursing health professionals have had i the development of Medical Tattoo services and the benefits to patients.

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Micro-pigmentation: implications for patients and professionals.

Abstract: In the UK, reconstructive breast surgery is routinely offered to patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer. The results can be excellent, but without a nipple–areola complex the patient can feel incomplete. In response to patient need, an innovative nurse-led micro-pigmentation service has been developed in the authors' NHS trust, which provides women (and men) an opportunity to complete their reconstruction process. With the use of coloured pigments, micro-pigmentation creates a permanent image of a nipple–areola complex, which improves the aesthetic appearance of the surgically-created breast.

As with the development of any new nurse-led innovation, the micro-pigmentation service has professional and client implications. Breast cancer can be devastating and may induce many psychological concerns, not least about body image and sexuality. This article addresses these issues, along with professional matters, such as autonomous practice, role expansion and the blurring of clinical boundaries. These factors are considered in relation to the nursing management of the micro-pigmentation service, where patient autonomy is encouraged to promote acceptance of self-image and closure on the breast cancer experience.

Industry Significance Rating:

Informative - General industry awareness.


Br J Nurs. 2005 Aug 11-Sep 7;14(15):818-22.

Authors: Collingridge K, Calcluth J.
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Within the Conventional Tattoo, PMU and SMP industries there is often the perception that the services being provided have been developed solely by technicians from those industries, however their are abundant publications within the nursing, medical and scientific literature spanning decades which establish the role that health professionals also have had in the development of these services.

The combined participation of both Health Professionals and those within the Conventional Tattoo, PMU and SMP industries has led to contemporary approaches and improved safety for patients.


Scientific Report,  micro-pigmentation, nurses, reconstruction, areola, nipple, tattoo, psychological, sexuality, breast cancer, pigments


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