Event Title

The Breast Kind of Tattoos: A Study on Mastectomy Tattoos

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

10-4-2018 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: Mastectomy surgeries often leave surgical scarring in the place of the effected breast tissue. The purpose of this study was to investigate cisgender women who have undergone a single or double mastectomy in the United States and how they came to the decision to cover their mastectomy scars with tattoos. Additionally, the research sought to uncover how the mastectomy tattoo has impacted mental and emotional well-being in the participant. METHODS: The researcher used phenomenological approach guides to explore the experiences and perceptions of the participants about their own perspectives. Fourteen participants were contacted through breast cancer groups on social media and participated in semi-structured interviews via webcam from varied locations in the United States. ANALYSIS: The data was analyzed in two ways: results linked to changes in affect in self-esteem and body image before, during, and after the mastectomy surgery, as well as how the covering of the scarring by the mastectomy tattoos altered the participant’s self-esteem and body image after. CONCLUSION: Results showed that body image and self-esteem increased positively after the tattooing process. The current body of knowledge on this subject is nearly nonexistent, so further additional research may be able to help inform breast cancer survivors with new options and avenues after mastectomy surgery to help improve quality of life.

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Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

The Breast Kind of Tattoos: A Study on Mastectomy Tattoos

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE: Mastectomy surgeries often leave surgical scarring in the place of the effected breast tissue. The purpose of this study was to investigate cisgender women who have undergone a single or double mastectomy in the United States and how they came to the decision to cover their mastectomy scars with tattoos. Additionally, the research sought to uncover how the mastectomy tattoo has impacted mental and emotional well-being in the participant. METHODS: The researcher used phenomenological approach guides to explore the experiences and perceptions of the participants about their own perspectives. Fourteen participants were contacted through breast cancer groups on social media and participated in semi-structured interviews via webcam from varied locations in the United States. ANALYSIS: The data was analyzed in two ways: results linked to changes in affect in self-esteem and body image before, during, and after the mastectomy surgery, as well as how the covering of the scarring by the mastectomy tattoos altered the participant’s self-esteem and body image after. CONCLUSION: Results showed that body image and self-esteem increased positively after the tattooing process. The current body of knowledge on this subject is nearly nonexistent, so further additional research may be able to help inform breast cancer survivors with new options and avenues after mastectomy surgery to help improve quality of life.