Surgical tattoo removal removal

Also known as excision: this is where the patch of skin which contains the tattoo is, literally, cut out. As you might imagine this is a drastic means of tattoo removal and one that results in scarring. In some cases, a skin graft is needed to repair the treated area.

This is especially a problem for large tattoos or badly done tattoos which have not been done by a professional.

If you choose to undergo this then the risks of scarring will be discussed along with the benefits. The surgeon will ask you about your medical history and will advise you to avoid sun exposure to the tattoo at least four weeks before your surgery. The reason behind this is to avoid any problems with uneven skin colour or pigmentation patches.

Surgical tattoo removal procedure

This starts with the injection of a local anaesthetic which will numb the area to be treated.

Small tattoos

If you have a small tattoo then the surgeon will cut away this tattoo, bring the edges of skin together and close these with stitches. There is likely to be a minimal amount of bleeding which is cauterised in order to seal the wound.

Large tattoos

These require a bit more work in that a skin graft will be required. The surgeon cuts away the tattoo as per normal and grafts an area of skin the thighs or underarms are the preferred sites onto the treated area. Due to the size several procedures may be carried out over a long period of time. This may involve removing the middle part of the tattoo to start with followed by the sides.

There is another technique called tissue expanderin which the surgeon inserts a deflated balloon into the skin next to the tattoo. This balloon is then inflated over a number of weeks which stretches the skin. Once the skin has been stretched to its maximum limit the tattoo can be cut away and the skin stitched together.

After tattoo removal surgery

Whatever the size of your tattoo, you can expect some soreness and discomfort after surgery but this will ease over time. Much depends upon the area where the tattoo was present, and some parts of the body will be more sensitive than others. Your surgeon will have advised you beforehand on post-operative care. If surgery is not an option then consider other alternatives such as laser tattoo removal, dermabrasion tattoo removal, intense pulsed light therapy, tattoo , cover-ups and tattoo .

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