Surgical Tattoo Removal

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Surgical Tattoo Removal

Considering to remove a tattoo is quite common among people who have had tattoos whether it be because of regret or they may just have outgrown it. Surgical tattoo removal is a quick and effective technique performed to ly remove tattoos using excision or skin graft.

Surgical tattoo removal is preferred over laser tattoo removal by people who wish to avoid several painful laser sessions or just want an aesthetically pleasing result.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Surgical Tattoo Removal?

All patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with surgical tattoo removal.

We do not treat patients below the age of 18 years of age.

Healing is better if patients refrain from or quit smoking.

Ideal for those who simply do not wish to continue keeping their tattoo, and do not wish to opt for laser tattoo removal. Ideal for people who have outgrown or regret their tattoos. People may opt for it also if they are starting a new job and desire a clear appearance.

The Tattoo Removal Consultation

The consultation begins by having an opportunity to discuss your ideas, concerns and expectations about the surgical tattoo removal procedure with your surgeon, and ask any relevant questions you may have.

The surgeon will:

  1. Take a focused history and examine you
  2. Explain the surgical tattoo removal procedure
  3. Take your needs and preferences into account when deciding on the most appropriate treatment option for you

A surgeon performing surgical tattoo removal can be either from a plastic surgery, ENT surgery or maxillofacial surgery background. All three specialities are fully trained to perform surgical tattoo removal.

The Surgical Tattoo Removal Process

Depending on the size of the tattoo, some can be removed in just one sitting. An oval shaped cut will be made around the skin and then the edges are stitched together. The stitches will be slightly curved to allow a neat incision scar, which will fade away over time.

In cases when the tattoo covers a big area of of the skin and cannot be easily removed and stitched together, a comfortable amount is cut in the first session and more is cut again after allowing the treated area to heal.

Skin grafting is also a technique involved in surgical tattoo removal where skin from another part of the body is stitched onto the area of the removed skin to fill the gap.

The Recovery and Result

Following the surgery, the patient will experience some degree of discomfort for the first few days, and pain killers can be taken to ease it. Moisturise and apply sunblock to the scar for 18 to 24 months in order to improve the final result.

Benefits of Surgical Tattoo Removal

  • Simple and quick method which can achieve long lasting results
  • Cheapest technique for complete tattoo removal
  • Alternative to many painful laser sessions
  • More aesthetically pleasing result compared to laser tattoo removal

Potential Side Effects

  • A linear scar will be left, but will fade away within 8 months
  • Could leave a visible scar, if not taken care of
  • Surgical complications like infection and swelling will be involved

surgical vs laser tattoo removal
Surgical Tattoo Removal

  • Tattoo can be removed in one sitting or two depending on the size
  • Risk of infection of the incisions
  • Will leave a linear scar that fades away over time

Laser Tattoo Removal

  • May need 2-4 visits and sometimes even 10 for a big tattoo
  • Risk of skin burning during the removal treatment
  • May leave an outline of the tattoo with scar formation

surgical tattoo removal faqs

Am I an ideal candidate for surgical tattoo removal?

You are an ideal candidate if you simply wish to get your tattoo removed for a reason.

How is the procedure performed?

The surgical tattoo removal can be performed on both small and big area either by skin excision or skin grafting. Skin excision can be done in one sitting or more depending on the size of the area to be be removed. Skin with the tattoo is cut and the edges are stitched back, therefore, bigger the area the more sessions it will take to remove the tattoo completely. Skin grafting on the other hand is similar to fat transfer where skin is taken from a donor area and stitched up on the gap.

How do I prepare for my surgery?

Avoid taking aspirin or any blood thinners to prevent bleeding during the procedure.

How long does the procedure take?

About 1-2 hours on average

Is it going to be painful?

You will be under local anaesthesia so you will be completely relaxed and comfortable throughout the whole procedure.

Will I be left with scars?

The technique will involve a linear incision scar, which will fade within 8 months.

What is the recovery period going to be like?

Expect some degree of discomfort for the first few days, and painkillers is recommended to ease it. Moisturise and apply sunblock to the scar for 18 to 24 months in order to improve the final result.

What are the risks associated with surgical tattoo removal?

  • A linear scar will be left, but will fade away within 8 months
  • Surgical complications like infection and swelling will be involved

Is the result going to last long term?

Yes, the surgical tattoo removal gives aesthetically pleasing results that last long term.

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