PASCO, WA - Getting a breast cancer diagnosis can be scary. Having a mastectomy can be scary. A local woman can help with recovery, though, by bringing back a sense of normalcy.
"When I'm doing it I'll map and measure and draw out the shape so that they can see it," said Lizz Tapia who leases space at Wright Surgical Arts in Pasco. "I let them be involved in that. As far as the color, I let them also be involved in that. We try to match it to the other areola if they have it."
Tapia does 3D areola restoration tattooing.
"So it's used for men or women that have undergone some sort of surgery," said Tapia. "Mostly used for women after breast cancer full reconstruction."
The procedure is often the last step after a major breast-related surgery; anything from reductions to reconstructions to mastectomies.
"I don't let them see it until the end. Then I usually let them see it," said Tapia. "It's a huge surprise because it does give the 3D replication of the other. They cry. They're happy. They are in shock. A lot of them don't say anything. It just depends on the person."
Tapia said she feels blessed to be able to help people like this. She also stays quite busy. Lately she has worked with a couple of clients a week.
A lot more than you would even think. I always stand behind: everybody has a story and oftentimes they're in a different chapter so when you're looking at them always be kind because you never know," said Tapia.
According to Cancer.org one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.