Excision to Get Rid of Tattoo and Scars?

I have big tattoo on my arm and scars under the tattoo. If I get Excision option, will I be able to get rid of my tattoo and scars under the tattoo at the same time?

Doctor Answers 2

Excision is quick but leaves a scar

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Some patients need quick removal of their tattoo and I explain to them that excision will leave a scar.  It will remove the old scar but leave you with a new one.  No scar can ever be completely removed with current 2013 techniques.  In fact, the scar in my opinion can be worse than some tattoos and can distort the contour of the area being treated.  Skin grafting leaves not only a scar where the tattoo was removed but also a scar where the skin is taken from.  With a small tattoo in an inconspicuous place (like a wrist crease) sometimes it is a better option than laser.   The tradeoff of the scar really needs to be considered now.  I have serious discussions with prospective excision patients to explain in detail what the trade-offs are and highly suggest you meet with a surgeon to discuss your options.  Good luck!

Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Tattoo excision

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Be careful you do not 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.

Skin grafting is a major procedure with significant potential risks and complications,  involving the recipient and donor sites. Again, the resulting cosmetic results leaves much to be desired.

I would suggest you continue to look into laser treatment options (this technology does improve yearly).

If you do decide to proceed with surgical treatment, consult with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

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