Surgical tattoo removal – what is it?

Having a tattoo can be a very large part of your life. After all, a tattoo can often be very meaningful or represent a certain chapter of your life.

However, over time the tattoo may no longer be relevant or you may not be keen on it any longer. You may wish to get another tattoo to cover up your existing tattoo. However, sometimes this is not an available option due to the size or colour of the tattoo. Laser tattoo removal can also be another option.

If you are looking for a quicker, permanent solution, you may wish to undergo surgical tattoo removal.

Why choose this over other methods?

When considering tattoo removal, you will find there are numerous options available.

The easiest is to use high coverage make up. This is often sought after for people who will need a quick fix if a tattoo was not suitable for a new job, or other options are not financially available. However, this does not actually remove the tattoo.

Laser tattoo removal is a widely known tattoo removal method. This method often requires numerous sessions to remove the tattoo. This method is considered to be fairly painful and is often described as more painful than getting the original tattoo. Furthermore, certain colours of ink will not react well with the lasers and will be unable to be removed.

As a result of this, surgical tattoo removal often becomes seen as a quicker, more pain-free, more permanent option.

What to think about before undergoing the procedure



Deciding to undergo surgical tattoo removal can often be a big decision. After all, it includes researching other methods of removal and choosing to undergo a surgical procedure.

While surgical tattoo removal is straightforward, there are numerous factors which need to be taken into consideration. Before planning the surgical procedure, you will need to be considered an eligible candidate for the procedure. This is a surgical procedure, so some people will be considered unsuitable. To undergo surgical tattoo removal you will need to be:

  • 18 years or older
  • Physically and mentally healthy
  • Have reasonable expectations about what the procedure can achieve
  • A non-smoker, or be able to stop smoking prior to the procedure and during the recovery period

The surgeon will also assess the size and location of your tattoo. If the tattoo is too large or is on an area of your body where the skin is tight or there is not enough skin, you may not be able to have surgery.

You will also need to have reasonable expectations about what the procedure can achieve. It is important to remember this is a surgical procedure, so you will require stitches and will be left with a scar.

The procedure

Surgical tattoo removal is performed under a local anaesthetic. This means you will be awake throughout the procedure, but you will be unable to feel any pain or discomfort.

Surgical tattoo removal is performed by excising the piece of skin where the tattoo is. Only skin will be removed without any underlying tissue. Removing the underlying tissue may cause an abnormal shape in the area. Once the skin is removed, the remaining skin will be pulled together and stitched shut.

If your tattoo is particularly large, it may require numerous sessions to fully remove the tattoo.

Skin grafting may also be another option which may need to take place for large tattoos. This involves taking a piece of skin from a donor area of the body and placing it over the excised area and stitching it shut.

What is the recovery period like?

Surgical tattoo removal is performed as a day procedure. You will be able to return home on the same day as the tattoo removal.

Following the procedure, you may experience some swelling and bruising. You may also feel some slight pain and discomfort. You can take pain medication to help alleviate any symptoms.

It is important to take care of the incision site to avoid any infection occurring and avoid the scar looking worse. Once the incision is healed, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen and moisturiser to the area to keep the appearance of the scar as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Interested in surgical tattoo removal? Centre For Surgery offers this procedure. 

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