My left wrist tattoo, the sun, is about two years old. My right wrist, the flowers, is only about a year old. Is there any chance to be able to have surgical excision?
Both my Wrists Are Tattooed, I Want a Surgical Excision, is There Help for Me? (photo)
Doctor Answers (5)
Surgical Excision Versus Laser Tattoo Removal
Surgical excision would leave permanent scars. Also your tattoos are too large for this procedure. Laser tattoo removal would be your best choice. The black sun tattoo would be the easiest to remove since black ink absorbs all wavelengths of light. The black outline and stems of your tattoo would also be fairly easy.
The blue and the yellow would be a little more challenging.
Look into the 1064nm Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers ( eg Spectra and medlite lasers) for tattoo removal. This system can address multiple colors. And it is safe for all skin colors. Always consult your dermatologist for his/her advice.
Removing tattoos with surgical excision
is never a good idea unless they are very small in size or there is considerable excesses of skin to allow a surgical excision. l
Lasers are most effective with blues and blacks... you could have trouble completely clearing your yellow and perhaps may be better off not removing those and covering it with clothing instead.
Best of luck with clearing your skin.
Surgical excision is a poor choice, photo therapy is a better option for tattoo removal.
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Surgical Excision of Tattoos?
Thank you for the question and pictures.
Unfortunately, you are not a candidate for any type of excisional procedure. Laser tattoo removal is your best option with the understanding of the limitations associated with this procedure. Multiple treatments will be necessary and some of the colors (especially the blue) will be very difficult to remove. There may always be telltale signs that tattoos were once present. These signs however will be much better than scars left after excision.
On the positive side, much of the ink is black ( favorable) and the tattoo is on your upper extremity ( favorable).
I would suggest an person consultation with a well experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist.
Both my Wrists Are Tattooed, I Want a Surgical Excision, is There Help for Me?
When it comes to excising large pigmented lesions and tattoos, such large surface deformities cannot be removed at one time UNLESS you have excess skin which would permit it. Unfortunately, no one has that much excess skin of their distal exttremities.
Your BEST option is to have several laser treatment. You will be able to return to work in between sessions AND once the tattoos are broken up unlike a surgical removal you will not have extensive visible scarring which will always be raising questions and suspicions. If you insist on having them excision, they may be taken out in pieces (central portion out first and by re-excising the central portions several months later the whole tattoo can be taken out over several years). Another option is to put a balloon expander in and fill it up generating more skin. Once more skin has been produced, the tatoo is cut and the excess skin is used to close the opening.
Peter A Aldea, MD
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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