Tattoo Excision (staged or serial) after failed laser tattoo removal?

I have a 2 x 3.5 inch tattoo on my wrist that I want removed. I have tried laser tattoo treatments, however I had an extreme systemic response two times and my GP has advised against any further laser treatment. Is tattoo excision an option? I know there will be a scar but I now have a half faded tattoo that looks worse than when I started. Or should I just add to this tattoo in question to make it into something I can live with?

Doctor Answers 2


Hi Andrea0613, Thank you for your question regarding surgical tattoo excision. Since you had such an extreme response to the laser, I would not suggest any more further laser treatment on your tattoo.  Instead, I would suggest surgical excision.  Unfortunately, you did not enclose a picture. However, based on the dimensions for your tattoo and the location, I anticipate it can be removed in a single stage.  Surgeries like this can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. The procedure may take approximately one hour. You will have a scar after the tattoo removal. However, the tattoo is permanently gone forever !  The scar will fade with time. Please seek an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. If you have any other questions regarding the surgical removal of tattoos, please contact my office.. Sincerely Dr. Katzen.

Tattoo Excision Versus Laser

You can excise a tattoo but it may leave a very large scar. I suggest seeing an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

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