A new micropigmentation service has been launched at Kettering General Hospital to complete breast reconstruction following cancer surgery.
And the first patient to receive the service – which uses tattooing techniques to complete nipple reconstruction - is the chairman and founder of a group that supported the hospital in setting up the service.
Mother-of-two Jane Borland, 47, from Corby, is chairman and founder of the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Group (BRA) which supports women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering breast reconstruction following surgery.
In April 2015 the BRA group successful completed a six-year fundraising journey that raised £6,200 to buy the micropigmentation machine that the hospital is using to set up the new service.
Since then the hospital has been working to establish the service getting expert help from University Hospitals Leicester who have provided a clinical nurse specialist skilled in micropigmentation.
The clinical nurse specialist is working alongside the hospital to provide the service until our own staff have undergone sufficient training and practice in the skill.
Mrs Borland said: “This is a fantastic new service that will be a great benefit to women who have been through the trauma of having breast cancer surgery and then reconstructive surgery.
“I have been fortunate enough to have been the first patient to have benefited from the service – I was one of three people who received it on October 6.
“I am delighted with the results.
“KGH already provides a fantastic reconstruction service but this is now the icing on the cake.
“It is also the end of a long reconstruction journey for me.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy that year.
“I then had my reconstruction surgery in November 2008.
“I could have gone to Leicester to have the micropigmentation work but it was very important to me that BRA was able to provide funds for the equipment so we could finish my treatment at KGH where it had started.
“Our group is thrilled to see this new service up and running for the women of north Northamptonshire.”
The hospital’s associate general manager for surgery, Mairead Lacken-Hillery, said: “We launched breast reconstruction services at KGH in 2008 and have an expert team of surgeons and nurses who provide the service.
“The one thing we hadn’t done though up until now was provide the micropigmentation service at KGH itself, so patients had to travel to other hospitals to have it done.
“Now we are providing the service at our Treatment Centre and this will be a great benefit for approximately 36 women each year who need breast reconstruction surgery after being treated for breast cancer.”
“I want to thank the BRA group for their fantastic support since 2008 and all of our staff who have been involved in setting up the reconstruction service.”
Breast reconstruction surgery involves building a new breast following a mastectomy to eliminate cancer.
While a nipple is created using the woman’s tissue it is not the same colour as a natural nipple.
Today specialised micropigmentation devices are used to put the colour back into the nipple creating a natural finished look to the breast.
This is the device which BRA has purchased for and is now in use at the hospital.