Healing Tattoos For Breast Cancer Survivors

Editor's note: This story contains images of breast cancer survivors after reconstructive surgery, and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Marie Sena is an accomplished tattoo artist and medical illustrator who works from her studio, Electric Eye, at Jefferson Tower in Oak Cliff.

A few years ago, she decided to combine her talents to become a medical tattoo artist and is now changing the lives of breast cancer survivors.

Dozens of women who've had breast reconstruction after mastectomies have come to Sena for a 3-D nipple tattoo.

Sena uses skin matching coloring, shading and extreme attention to detail to tattoo a realistic-looking nipple onto the reconstructed breast.

One of her clients, Sabrina Lamb, said before the nipple tattoo, her healing process wasn't complete.

"Physically, you get over the mastectomy. You get over the chemo and radiation, but you don't get over it mentally. You're just not the same. That's why I searched for a 3-D tattoo, and that's why I came here," said Lamb.

"The second she did the tattoo and I stood up and looked in the mirror, I felt whole," said Lamb.

Stayci Hawthorn was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 37 years old.

She said after a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, she felt so far from whom she used to be, she showered in the dark.

"They made it sound like you can have whatever size of breasts you want and everything will be great, but that's not how it is. You're left with scars, and when you look in the mirror and you don't look anything like what you used to look like, it's tough," said Hawthorn.

She got her 3-D nipple tattoos last August.

"After going for six years with no nipples, it's like 'Wow.' You can't stop looking at them," said Hawthorn.

"I think the best thing I can say is I feel perfectly imperfect. She (Sena) made me feel whole again," Hawthorn added.

To learn more about Marie Sena and 3-D nipple tattoos, visit her website, Dallas Medical Tattoo.

The TODAY Show recently featured the process of 3-D nipple tattoos. To read more, visit

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