How Long After TUBA Breast Augmentation Can I Get a Tattoo?

I'm 3 weeks post-breast augmentation, with a 1-inch incision on the umbilicus that has been healing normally. How long do I have to wait before I can get a tattoo? Of course, a tattoo consists of multiple superficial punctures of the epidermis. The only consideration I can surmise might be the risk of infection. I have found no answers through my surgeon nor from extensive research.

Doctor Answers 9

We don't recommend TUBA breast augmentation.

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The scar will improve on it's own. I wouldn't tattoo it for several months.  But the real thing you should know is that the warranty on breast implants is voided by the manufacturer, if you have a TUBA breast augmentation, because there is such a risk of damaging the implants.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Tattoo after breast implant augmentation surgery

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I have heard one report of infection (bacteremic spread) following tattoo which resulted in a biofilm and subsequent capsular contracture. Three weeks should be a reasonable time to contemplate tattoo in a certified parlor with sterile equipment.

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

Tattoos after surgery

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For any surgery, the resultant scar will go through a normal cascade of healing. Although strength of the scar maximizes at around 6 weeks, the appearance of the scar can take much longer (up to a year). This includes the color of the scar which is related to the vascularity. It starts as red -> pink -> white. Also, the width of the scar may change as the collagen framework within the scar is remodeled. This leads to a flattening of the scar, but may also increase the width.

When tattooing is performed, particularly in a cosmetic design (flower, dolphin, or other shape/design), the result of the tattoo relies on the ink staying where it is placed. If you tattoo a scar while it is still healing, you risk having the tattoo distorting as the underlying scar changes. Therefore, I recommend waiting at least 6 months or more before tattooing. The tattoo is permanent, and there's no point in having a great looking tattoo today, which distorts before the year is out.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tattoos and Breast Augmentation

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It is unclear from your question if you are inquiring about when, after an augmentation, to have a tattoo elsewhere on the body OR near or on the TUBA incision site.

There is no scientific answer to this question. The consideration is when would the scar be mature enough to allow penetration by the tattoing needle. While it goes without saying that absolute (not relative) sterility is a must, tattooing of the TUBA area should be OK by 1-3 months. Elsewhere in the body, even earlier.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tattoo and post-surgery

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I would wait at least until the scar has matured before tattooing the area of the incision. This is because the skin will be firmer and redder than the surrounding tissue.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tattooing of scar from TUBA Breast Augmentation

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As you are aware, there are varied opinions on this matter. In theory, a tattoo only extends to the dermis and should not induce any negative changes in the quality of the scar or incision.

A wound will reepithelialize within 24 to 48 hours, but will continue to heal for several weeks thereafter. There is no scientific evidence to that would refute your decision to perform tattoo on the area within 3 weeks of your surgery, barring any active infection.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Tattoo okay once scar color resolves

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As long as you are not getting a tattoo on the fresh incision, you should be alright to get your tattoo. Some people tattoo incisions as a form of camouflage, and in those cases I suggest waiting 6 months until the color of the scar resolves somewhat.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tattoo after breast augmentation

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You have probably waited long enough.  Any procedure that involves a skin puncture has a risk of infection that could involve your implants but at this time that risk should be pretty minimal.  Just make sure you have the tattoo done by a professional using good sterile technique.

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

Depends on the location of the tattoo.

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My opinion is that you should wait 6 weeks after surgery before getting a tattoo anywhere else on your body other than the breasts or the navel.

If you are considering a tattoo on the breast you should wait 6 months or so and allow the implants to settle to be sure you get the tattoo where you want it.

If you are considering a tattoo in the navel that may involve the healing incision, I would wait 6 months to a year to let that scar mature before applying ink to it.

Good luck!

Christopher W. Chase, MD
Chattanooga Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.