Tattoo artist Vinnie Myers has become a hero of sorts amongst breast cancer survivors who are looking to feel whole again after having their mastectomies.

Myers is an extremely talented tattoo artist, but women who have undergone surgery for breast cancer from all over the world come to his Maryland tattoo parlor for one specific design—his realistic 3D areola tattoos, better known as "Vinnies."

After her mastectomy, a woman who gets her breast reconstructed is usually left with a blank canvas. When it comes to their new breasts, the reconstructive operation allows women to have the shape and size of their desire, but the colored sensitive area—commonly referred to as the nipple—is usually removed.

Surgeons will sometimes color the tip of the breast after the operation, but many of them only have a few hours of tattoo training and unfortunately, it shows in their work.

At a party back in 2001 Myers was asked by a friend who was a surgeon to come and "fix" a few of her tattoos. Upon doing so, he realized that there was a need for tattoo artists who knew the proper technique in order to give women who undergo this surgery the look they deserve.

Speaking of technique, when it came to 3D nipples, Myers was the best in the business by far. Business for his "Vinnies" grew so quickly that he had little to no time for regular tattoos.

In 2010 Myers he decided to stop doing nipple tattoos. The morning he planned on telling his staff to stop taking appointments he got a phone call that would change his life.

His sister was on the other line and informed him that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

If anything was a sign that Vinnie should continue doing the nipple tattoos, this was it. Fast forward to today and he now has a waiting list of 4-6 months and has even recruited his daughter to help once she graduates in 2017.

Breast cancer survivor Caitlin Kiernan decided to document her experience with Little Vinnie's to capture how important this small detail is to women who are faced with life after the body altering process of breast cancer treatment.

I recently decided to make my own trip to Little Vinnie’s. After two years of breast cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and four additional surgeries, I also wanted to have breasts that at least appeared normal and had the most realistic-looking nipples possible.

The compelling video does contain nipples, which makes it NSFW, but I recommend watching it to see the hope that this special man is giving women around the world in the wake of some of the hardest times they will ever face in their lives.

There is even a pin on the map from the Lafayette, LA area. I may never know who that one woman is, but after watching this video I hope she feels more like a woman than ever!

For more information on Vinnie and his special tattoo services, head over to his official website.

[via NYTimes]