Tattoo Gone Wrong! Hoping my Tattoo Excision is Right:) - Cincinnati, OH

Hello! I am new to this website, although I have...

Hello! I am new to this website, although I have commented on a few stories that are similar to mine. I will start from the beginning...So years ago I got a tattoo on my hip to symbolize something that happened in my life and I have never once regretted it. The artist did an amazing job and I was very happy with the outcome. I always wanted to get another tattoo but felt that nothing significant had happened in my life again to warrant a permanent fixture on my body. Fast forward to about 5 years later and my daughter Ava was born:) My husband had no tattoos and kept saying he wanted Ava's name tattooed on his arm. So that's when I decided I would not only be his support when he got "inked" for the first time...but I would finally be able to get that second tattoo I've always wanted and it have a special meaning. I decided I wanted it on my wrist (bad idea...having to look at it all day long). Ava's name means bird. Her nursery was decorated with that theme and birds are just so sweet that I thought I would get a tattoo of a bird's silhouette with the word love by it. My husband's tattoo turned out perfect. It was clean, crisp and the lettering was exactly what he wanted. Mine, well, what can I say...I am writing about wanting it removed. No disrespect to the artist, but it is NOT what I wanted. My fault, I know. I did not have the courage to tell the artist I did not like it. Lesson learned, an expensive lesson learned, a $750 lesson! Why $750? Because I am having it surgically removed in 2 days! I researched laser treatments, looked at dozens of before and after photos and none of them impressed me. It's not that the laser did not work. It was the time you have to devote that turned me off. For me, I would rather a scar than wait a year or more to see my tattoo gone. Not to mention, I am hoping to have baby #2 and I would not be able to do laser treatments while pregnant. So I went to a plastic surgeon who has done tattoo excision before and he said I am the perfect candidate. He could tell how depressed I was about it and how fed up I was at people telling me to change it and maybe I would like it more...if one more person told me to add an eye to the bird or a darn feather I was gonna scream! ;) So here I am, counting down the days to have this mistake removed and feel like me again. I will definitely update you on my procedure and hopefully he will let me take pictures of the surgery since he will only be numbing my wrist, not putting me under. Sorry for my long story...Good luck to you all!

Post Excision

Hello everyone!! Well the surgery is over:) First I want to apologize for no pictures. I asked the doctor if I could take some and he said it wasn't a good idea yet.... he thinks they'd be too graphic. Honestly, I think it's because what surgeon would want the world to see a fresh stitched up, bloody mess?? Obviously he wants his work to reflect his practice and it won't start to look good for about 2 weeks. In fact, I can't even see it right now. The bandage has to stay on for at least 2 weeks. The nurse said I can take a pic next Wednesday when she puts a new bandage on it. So until then...
However, I want to give you all a detailed account of how it went. First I laid down on a surgery table. The nurse was so sweet and put a sheet on me and then the doctor started injecting my wrist with local anesthesia. The anesthesia actually plumped up the skin on my wrist so not only could I not feel a thing, I had peace of mind knowing that the cuts would be no where near my veins or ligaments. He then put a paper sheet thingy around the area as to block my view and started cutting the tattoo off. I couldn't really see anything. I did see some blood but not too much. I also saw him lay part of my tattooed skin on the medical tray... I felt to relieved! The actual removal took 5 minutes. Then he stitched me up with thick stitches that go under the skin and that will eventually break down so I won't have to go back to get them removed. I did see the area before the bandages went on. I'm not going to lie. The scar will probably be about 4 1/2 inches long. But the nurse said over time it will not be as noticeable. She was so sweet. She rubbed my forehead as he was removing it and held my hand periodically. Overall, it was a great experience. I can't move my wrist too much for the next 2 weeks. I can bend it down but not up so the stitches don't tear. I can't say whether I recommend excision yet as I don't know what my wrist will look like. However, I will say that I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders knowing I took control of my mistake. It was an expensive lesson but what's $750 in the long run?? ;) I promise to post pics next week and keep everyone updated with photos of my scar as it heals. My tattoo is gone:)

The actual bandage

This is what the bandage looks like. You can see the waterproof plastic which is bunching my skin together. A little bit of blood has come through. The pain has subsided. Feeling anxious to see the scar!

Bandages off!

So I had to get my incision checked and my bandage changed today. I'm actually happy with the healing so far. It's only been 7 days so I'm excited to post more pics in a couple weeks. I have to keep it bandaged for 14 more days. After that it's just a routine of applying lotion and massaging the scar to help with the scar tissue.

2 1/2 week scar update

Took my bandage off 4 days early...looking good so far. It will definitely take a few more weeks to heal and then hopefully after a few months the scar will be minimal. I have attached a picture from one week post op compared to yesterday at 2.5 weeks post op.

More photos 2.5 weeks

Picture update

Still happy. Some days the scar is very red and other days it is lighter. After lots of research it seems it can take 6 months to a year for the redness to fade. More people noticed the tattoo than the scar so it's nice not having to explain what my tattoo is anymore. I will continue to post throughout the year:)

4 month update...

More red than a few weeks ago but I read that is normal... Blood vessels are healing it. 6 more months and it should blend in much more. Still no regret!
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon

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Looks great!
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That just looks awesome! Really pleased that your excision has turned out so well.
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Thank you!
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It probably feels a lot more red to you than to everyone else, I think it's looking amazing! It makes me excited to see my results
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I appreciate that! I'm excited to see your results as well:)
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Hi! First of all - thank you so much for posting about your excision, it's really hard to find reviews about this kind of tattoo removal. I actually decided to get my wrist/forearm tattoo surgically removed as well. However mine is a circle which means it has to be done in 2 sessions. How does your scar look like now! Does it hurt or does it somehow feel itchy/sore? The thing that brings me down a bit at the moment is, that I am not sure if I can cope with the scar..:it sounds hilarious because I wanna get rid of the tattoo but on the other hand I am feared of doing something wrong again. Nevertheless I really don't want to undergo laser removal since it's not that successful and takes so long:( So I would be really happy to get some more information and support from you;) Best wishes from Germany! Giulia
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Hi! Well I completely understand your dilemma because I'm not going to lie... There is a scar and it will take a while for it to heal fully (meaning blend in with my skin). It seems to be getting more red but I've researched it and the redness means that there are blood vessels doing their job to continue to heal it. At about 4 to 6 months the redness could be at it's worst and I'm at 4 months post surgery. The good news is, all my doctors who have seen it ( my surgeon, my OBGYN, my daughter's doctor) have all said that by a year the redness should be gone. It takes a whole year for scars to heal. With that said, more people noticed my tattoo than the scar! I commend people who choose laser. Some tattoos are so big they have no choice, but I have not seen one post where the tattoo is completely gone... And mine is:) but I truly HATED mine. I would have had no patience to wait two years to hope it disappeared. I will post a picture of it today. Sometimes I put a tiny bit of make up on it and it truly is non existent. Good luck with your decision!
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Wow this looks amazing. Im actually thinking of getting excision i have a tattoo 3 inches width on my side rib area that I'm dying to get rid of. I hope it wont be so expensive bcs laser is just ridiculous . I would rather have a scar then this tattoo
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On your rib? I'd say go for it!! No one will ever notice the scar. There's a lot more extra skin in that area compared to the wrist so the scar should heal wonderfully!
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Your excision was done with dissolvable stitches underneath the skin? Because I've seen many excisions done with regular stitching and that is why their scars look horrible and raised.
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Yes, he put dissolvable stitches underneath. Every now and then my body would reject them and I would have a stitch poking out but I'd pull it out with tweezers. Sounds gross but it healed just fine where I removed them.
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Oh my goodness- that's amazing! It's hardly noticable! Thanks for the update! Really gives me hope!
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Wow that's looking fantastic. Congratulations!
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Wow! That look really amazing! I am sure in time the scar will get less noticeable, but even for now it look amazing! Very happy for you!
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Congratulations! It looks great!
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Any recent photos?
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How are things looking?
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The scar has gotten a bit more red. Which I googled and it seems pretty normal. It will darken and then start to significantly fade. I'm still very happy with the outcome. No regrets:)
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Oh my life! This is so extremely helpful I can hardly believe it! The scar is so thin! And I reckon it'll fade a lot! Vitamin E is brilliant, I had a skin graft last year due to a burn and my specialist surgeon always rants about vitamin E cream, kind of expensive but that's just because I need it in excess for the size of my graft scar- another thing is silicon gel sheets, they're like these weird sheets that stick to your skin, and hydrate the scar (just pop it on when you go to bed each night) - they're also amazing. And other than that, what you've already been told- massaging the scar. Having a skin graft I've become the scar expert without even wanting to ha ha I'm looking to have this done on both wrists, how long do you think until you could use your wrists normally for work? I work as a carer so use of my arms and wrists is important. Also, how hard do you think it would be to have both done at once?
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Thank you for all the suggestions! I do not think it would be impossible to do both wrists at once but it might be more ideal to do one and then wait three weeks to do the other. The only reason I say that is because the first two days you really don't want to move your wrist at all. I really relied on my left wrist to help me shower, do my hair, and just do basic things like change my clothes and pick up around my house. That's not to say my I was not able to do anything with my right wrist. I still typed, wrote, brushed my teeth, etc... With my "bad" wrist. The fear is you will tear the stitches if you use it too much so having a spare hand with a good wrist helps those first few days. Maybe waiting even just a week would be good. I definitely recommend excision if you're a candidate. I kinda like my scar. And... No one has even noticed my scar unless I point it out to them. With my tattoo there was no hiding it. The black ink drew everyone's attention right to it when I spoke and used my hands when I talked. Good luck!! I'm three weeks post op and I feel totally normal.
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Thank you so much!! This is so helpful to me!! I like your scar too!
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I find this so interesting. You are healing wonderfully!
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Thank you! It will probably take a while for the scar to blend in... But the tattoo is gone. So that's the up side:) I will continue to post my progression. Thanks for the support.
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Hi! Your scar looks like its healing great! You are pretty fair, as am I, so any scar is noticeable. Vitamin E oil (buy the capsules and pop them open) or rosehip seed oil are great at scar fading!
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Thanks for the advice!
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