Excision to Remove a Tattoo?

I'm African American, and I have a small all black ankh tattoo on my wrist. Can an excision remove it? Would it also be best just to have excision, as I'm not concerned with scarring either?

Doctor Answers 4

Tattoo Removal by Excision

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Thank you for your question and picture.  Depending on the size and position of your tattoo, it is possible to remove the tattoo in a single operation. If there is enough flexibility in the skin surrounding a tattoo, it may be possible to cut around the tattoo and draw the cut skin edges together with stitches. Typically an oval shaped cut is designed as this allows a neat, straight or slightly curved surgical scar to be made.  Your tattoo is small therefore excision would be a good route to take, however scarring is a risk.  This procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic.  Please make sure you find a reputable and qualified plastic surgeon who can access you properly to give you a realistic idea of the outcome you can achieve. All The Best! 

Small tattoos respond well to surgery

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Yes, this is a great option for a small tatttoo of the wrist.  There is extra skin there and as long as you are willing to accept a scar in place of the tattoo, you should be very happy with the results.

Victoria W. Serralta, MD
Arlington Dermatologic Surgeon

Excision for tattoo removal

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Excision is an option but you might want to consider laser removal as well. Excision is quicker, one time for a small tattoo versus laser several times but no scars.

Best of luck.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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Serial excision of tattoos

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This is possible if you have enough skin to recruit or the tattoo is small enough. If not sometimes this is performed using serial excision. This means you excise as much as you can and close the skin so there is not excessive tension on the wound. At a later date when the skin relaxes (usually 3-4 months), you can come back and remove more.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.