Tattoos are very popular but people may regret having them or need them removed for certain professions. The most common method of tattoo removal is by the use of lasers. Advances in laser technology include pico second lasers. These can reduce the number of sessions required. Laser tattoo removal will often need multiple sessions over long periods of time.
Surgical Removal of Tattoos
For certain tattoos, surgical excision of tattoos may be an option. This method will completely remove the tattoo if possible or it may require staged multiple procedures for larger tattoos. There will be a permanent resultant scar in place of the tattoo. The scars will fade with time but will always be present.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you remove a tattoo?
Tattoo removal is most commonly performed using a laser. The type of laser used will be based on the colour of the ink used in the tattoo. Tattoos may also be removed by surgery.
Can all tattoos be removed with laser?
Tattoos that are composed of dark colours such as black ink will respond better to laser treatment than multi-coloured tattoos. Some colours such as yellows, pinks, reds or greens may be quite difficult to treat with lasers. Laser tattoo removal is likely to leave some faint outline of the tattoo even with a full course of treatment.
Can tattoo removal be done surgically?
Surgical tattoo removal is possible in some cases. This depends on the size of the tattoo and where it is located on the body. Generally smaller tattoos on parts of the body where there is some skin laxity are likely to be suitable for surgical tattoo removal. Some larger tattoos may need a staged procedure which means it may need to removed partially in a number of goes until the whole tattoo has been removed.
How is surgical tattoo removal performed?
Surgical tattoo removal is performed as a local anaesthetic procedure. This means the area is number and the tattoo is removed. The skin is then stitched together and dressings applied over the scar. Most of the time, the stitching will all be beneath the surface of the skin and so you will not need to have any stitches removed.
What are the potential risks of tattoo removal?
There are some potential risks and complications associated with laser and surgical removal. For the laser tattoo removal these may include residual tattoo; failure to respond; need for repeated treatments; burns; skin pigmentation changes (hypo- or hyper-pigmentation).
The potential risks associated with surgical removal are:
All tattoos that are excised will leave a permanent scar in place of them. Sometimes scars can become hypertrophic or keloid meaning they can become raised or lumpy. Scars can also stretch resulting in a wider scar.
Although tattoo excision involves removal of the full thickness of the skin some residual pigment may remain at the edges of the scar. This may be due to the fact that the tattoo was too large to remove fully in one go and a staged or serial excision may be required.
Rarely, there may be infection or problems with healing of the wounds after tattoo excision. These are usually small and managed without need for any further surgery.
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This patient has a tattoo on the wrist that they wished to have removed.
This is 6 weeks after tattoo excision. The scar will continue to improve with time.
Very professional friendly and made you feel at ease with the whole process. Mr Nassab also did a very good job on the surgery itself - far better than what I was expecting and well worth it, especially doing the surgery on a wrist which is a delicate area.FCTattoo Excision
Incredibly neat cut - much better result than I ever anticipated. I didn't feel a thing during the procedure itself, and Dr Nassab really put me at ease throughout. Great aftercare advice too re reducing the risk of scarring. I can finally wear the clothes that I always dreamed of wearing! 100% recommended.TTattoo Excision
The results are incredible , so neat, I almost cried when I first saw the result as I am finally tattoo free on my lower back. I couldn't recommended him enough.ETattoo Excision
In essence, not only was the procedure quick and painless, Mr Nassab was very nice too, and this was greatly appreciated. I would highly recommend Mr Nassab for a surgical procedure.BTattoo Excision