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Laser Removal vs. Surgical Removal

  • karmak987
  • 1 year ago

I have a tattoo on my right shoulder blade that I would like removed. It was done in 2009, in plain black ink. The tattoo is 5 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches wide - it is simple cursive writing. In the pictures I have provided, i blocked out most of the tattoo, but left some script visible to give you an idea of what the tattoo essentially is. I have set my heart on having the tattoo surgically removed, which entails a minor surgery- The actual skin/tattoo is cut out and stitches are done under the skin as well as over the skin to pull the skin together. My skin will be tight for 2-3 months, but the skin will adjust to its new surface area (similar to breast implants, pregnancy, etc. The skin is a very elastic organ!). This surgery will cost the same as laser tattoo removal, if not less. Getting a cover-up tattoo is NOT an option for me. The surgeon I consulted with is a skin cancer surgery specialist, and has 25+ years of experience. One of my friends thinks this is a terrible idea. He thinks I should do laser removal instead. My issue with laser, is that there is no guarantee the tattoo will be completely removed, AND more pain will be involved between the 5-10 treatments Ive been told I need. My question is, has anyone had any type of tattoo removal done? If so, what was it and what were your results? If you don't mind, please include prices, pain level, etc. Thank you!

Comments (7)

Did you go through with the excision?
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I once had a sleeve-tattoo on my whole right arm. I decided to go for laser removal, because I did some research and found out that a lot of people end up with scars, and terrible infections after surgical removal. Now my whole arm is healed, and I don't have scars at all, and this was a longarm-sleeve. You should definitely go for laser removal. Hope this works out for you!
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Do you have any pictures? I would love to see your removal?
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I would love to see pictures. Also, what type of laser was used? Glad to hear this worked for you!
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I've never had surgical removal, I am going through laser, I'm also a certified laser tech and co-own a tattoo removal business. Personally, I wouldn't consider surgical removal unless you are under a deadline for a specific reason, like trying to enter the military, getting married, etc. My other, non-professional surgery opinion is that your tattoo is in a high movement part of the body, where skin is being moved around and shirts / clothing will constantly rub on it. This could cause extended discomfort during healing. Laser removal will take 10-12, not 5-8. If you're lucky and react well, maybe 8, but probably at least 9-11. That said, total treatment time will be less than 2 minutes, pain subsides almost as soon as treatment is finished. Healing is much faster and to me, as someone who's receiving treatment, it's non-invasive. There is always a possibility of ghosting, and it not fully coming out, however I personally don't mind a minor ghost compared to a potential thin scar, this is my 'personal' opinion though. Regarding pricing, the one thing that's attractive to many is the time it takes to remove the tattoo. With treatments 4-6 weeks apart, it's not as large of a financial hit and allows you to spread them out more. If you're looking at a 3 month recovery time, that's roughly 5-6x faster for removal via laser, but if money is a concern, you'll spend less up front going for laser treatment. If you have specific laser questions, ask and I'll answer, both from the receiving treatment side and from doing treatments.
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Thank you, Mike Panic, I truly appreiciate your time and feedback. As far as the surgery I am wanting to have, there is no deadline. I am simply sick of it and ready for it to be gone. It is a cruel reminder of my past, and I know I should have been smarter with this choice, but bottom line is that - whats done is done. LOL Anyway, I dont deal with pain well, and would much rather deal with it for one time frame, as opposed to several (with laser removal). Taking into consideration where it is located (right under bra, shirt straps, etc.), several treatments would make it difficult to deal with in my line of work (im a nurse). Money isnt really an issue, as this is a birthday gift from my parents - the surgery costs $700. As far as scaring goes, Id rather have the scare then the potential possibility that the tattoo will not be completely removed. Either way, I appreciate you sharing your personal knowledge and opinions :) It has definitely helped with my decision, since their is so little feedback online with surgical vs. laser removal. Thank you so much :)
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