Quality of life is important to me, and is a critical part of my blog content, so I spoke to two incredible permanent make-up artists about this issue. The First was Vicki Maierle. While working with a plastic surgeon that specializes in breast reconstruction, Vicki saw the devastation that cancer can bring to a woman’s body and confidence. As a permanent makeup artist, she creates new eyebrows, eyeliner and lips. When she saw the scars and the lack of any color in the areola and nipple of the reconstructed breasts, she knew that she could help. She expanded her focus to restore the color back into the areola and nipple and to camouflage the scars to make these women feel whole again. For those women who cannot or prefer not to have the nipples, a hand tool can be used to create shading with different colors to make it appear as though they have a nipple, it's an optical illusion! She also creates eyebrows for patients who have lost the hair from treatments, as well as eyeliner.
Vicki travels to many different cities so that the patient does not have to travel to have this done. She then return a couple months later to follow up, as this is not a one-time procedure; the color softens and each individual holds the color differently. She calls this visit "Fine tuning" as she works on making the breasts as symmetrical as possible.
For Vicki, it’s an amazing feeling to see women get all excited about their breasts again. The smiles and comments she gets are priceless, but for her, the important thing is knowing that what she does helps to improves the lives of cancer patients.
Many people who could benefit from paramedical tattooing do not realize that, in many cases, it is covered under their medical insurance plan. Paramedical tattooing is often performed to complete breast restoration after mastectomy or hide scar damage from accidents or surgery. In 1998 Congress passed the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act that forced traditional health insurance companies to cover reconstructive surgery and related services associated with breast cancer reconstruction when those services are recommended by the patient’s attending physician. Elected medical ancillary services, including paramedical tattooing to complete breast restoration after mastectomy, provided by qualified providers are covered by most insurance plans. This gives breast cancer survivors the freedom to select a paramedical tattoo professional based not on cost but on the quality of the services provided. Too often recovering breast cancer patients are unaware of their legal rights and believe their only option is to return to the hospital to have the final step in the reconstruction of their breast performed by a physician or nurse without the practiced experience and artistic eye of a permanent make-up artist.
Vicki Maierle-Foss is President and CEO of “The Pink Icing on the Cake”. Vicki provides permanent make-up creating beautiful eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips and restores the color in the breasts. Her passion is to educate all women that this is part of the reconstruction and that most insurance companies are now paying a portion of this procedure. Vicki has recently been honored with the Cambridge Who’s Who award for Achievements in Permanent Make Up. For more information about Vicki, please visit: http://www.thepinkicingonthecake.com/
Melany Whitney, CPCP, DAAM, CMI is President of the Whitney Center. She has been named "the voice of permanent cosmetics" by the largest professional industry society, the Society for Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, due to her expertise and her prominence in the NYC media arena. Melany practices in medical offices in New York City, New Jersey and So. Florida where she sees clients from all over the world, and is the preferred artist for referrals from the top reconstructive physicians in the New York metropolitan area. For more information about Melany and the Whitney Center, please visit:www.permanentmkup.com
For more information on permanent makeup for cancer patients, please visit: http://plasticsurgery.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=91