Tattoo Removal on Upper Sternum - Excision or Laser?

I Need to Get a 5cm X 5cm Tattoo on my Upper Sternum Removed. Is Laser Better or Excision? I'm an asian in mid 20s, and I'd like to know the best options to remove my tattoo. Also, when is the best time of the year to get excision or laser?

Doctor Answers 4

Excision vs Laser for Tattoo Removal

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I absolutely recommend tattoo removal using a laser rather than excision. Excisions will always leave scars, and you risk having a worse appearance than before you attempted to remove the tattoo. In experienced hands, a physician can remove your tattoo using a pigment laser such as the Q-Switch Alexandrite and you shouldn't see it after a series of sessions. Success varies on a variety of factors, such as how much ink was used, how deep in the skin it was placed, and what color the tattoo is. 


Hope this helps! Best of luck! 

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Tattoo excision

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Laser tattoo treatment is indicated.

With excision you will likely trade one problem for a worse  problem. Excision of your tattoo will obviously result in a scar that may be unsightly. Several excisions (staged) may be necessary because of the tightness of the skin in this area. Complications such as  keloid or hypertrophic scarring, wound  healing problems and/or spreading of the  scars are common in this area.

Best wishes.

Surgery for a large tattoo will very possibly leave a large scar

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Excision of a large tattoo will often leave a large scar whether it was allowed to heal after removal or sutured (might need skin graft or flap if large).  In addition, the chest is one of the high-risk locations for abnormal scarring and may develop a keloid (thick, itchy or painful scar).

Multiple treatments are usually necessary for a large tattoo but if the inks are expected to fade with laser (I'd consult with a tattoo laser expert) that may be a good choice to investigate

Daniel Berg, MD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon

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Tattoo removal on the chest

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Your tattoo is not small and if it is excised on the chest bone, there is a chance of developing a thick painful overhealing scar such as a hypertrophic scar or keloid. Therefore, laser hair removal is worthwhile, not surgery. Laser hair removal consists of many monthly treatments, more than eight, commonly.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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.