Excision Tattoo Removal

I live on long Island and am having a hard time finding a surgeon who will do multiple excisions. I can't live with this tattoo. Its very large and brand new. I need it gone. Laser is not an option because of its size. almost 8"x5" in size. It looks very large due to swelling. I can live with 7 giant scars then to have this on my forearm.

Doctor Answers 17

Surgical excision can have excellent results

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While laser may be the most common option for tattoo removal, it is quite costly and certainly does not 100% remove the ink.  I have had beautiful success at staged surgical excisions of large tattoos that patients were quite happy with.  This also avoids the possibility of allergy to tattoo pigments before and after laser therapy.  The major negatives are that it definitely takes time if done correctly- several months depending on the size of the tattoo and you have to be willing to accept the scar.  The major benefits are that it can be less expensive and it really does remove the tattoo completely!

Arlington Dermatologic Surgeon

Tattoo Excision

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Tattoo excision is a common treatment - especially after failed laser treatment. In most cases, you will have to have serial excision. What this means is that as much of the tattoo is excised that will allow minimal tension on the closure. After the area heals, another excision is performed using the same incision/scar, but removing another ring of tissue. This process is repeated until the entire tattoo is completely removed. Good luck.

Surgical removal of tattoo

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Such a large tattoo on the forearm needs to be removed either by serial excisions (excising, waiting for relaxation, then re-excising) or with use of tissue expansion. Laser removal can be attempted over multiple session and if that is not satisfactory you can proceed to surgery.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Excision Tattoo Removal

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-If you have already consulted more than one board certified plastic surgeon, and they refused to do it, you may be requesting something that is not realistic.

Tim Sayed, MD, MBA, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Laser tattoo removal

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There are many larger tattoos that have been effectively removed or significantly faded by laser treatment. Serial excisions can be done but there is a risk of a painful raised hypertrophic scar. Try the laser first.

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

Excision Tattoo Removal

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Thank you for your question Joseph.  Unfortunately due to the size this would have to be performed via staged tattoo removal, a comfortable amount of the tattoo is removed to allow stitching of the wound.  A few months later, the surgical wound will be well healed and the skin will have stretched enough to allow a further portion of the tattoo to be removed.  A further variant to this could be the use of a tissue expander, a surgical ballon designed to stretch an area of skin in preparation to fill a gap left by the removal of a tattoo.  

Alternatively using a skin graft, where skin, taken from another area of your body, can be used to fill a gap which cannot be drawn together with stitches.  This is a single operation however it leaves a second mark or scar on the body where the skin graft is take from.

All the best! 

Laser tattoo removal and surgical excision

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Laser tattoo removal may be an excellent modality alone or in combination with surgical excision to minimize the downsides of either treatment. 

Dr. Karamanoukian 

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

Excision of Tattoos is No Longer Necessary

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Excision of tattoos is no longer necessary when you have the technology available from the Alex Tri-Vantage laser.  The laser is uniquely qualified to treat all colors of tattoos in all skin types.  This painless procedure is the best way to remove a large tattoo and makes excisions a thing of the past.  For the best cosmetic results please consult a board certified dermatologist with experience with tattoo removal.

Laser tattoo removal vs surgical excision

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You would be best served by seeking a knowledgeable surgeon who has experience with both laser tattoo removal as well as serial excision of tattoos so that you may fully understand the pros and cons of the two options.  I personally believe your best option would be to undergo laser tattoo removal of the forearm tattoo as a you will most likely obtain a very acceptable clearance of your tattoo ink with minimal chance of scarring as opposed to surgical excision.  A high quality tattoo removal laser used by a knowledgeable and experienced physician will give you an excellent result. 
Best Regards,

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon

Cutting out a large tattoo not necessary with new Picosure tattoo removal laser technology.

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I hope you have not already had surgery for your tattoo. 8" by 5" is not too large for the new Picosure laser to tackle. It's faster and less painful than traditional laser technology, and handles difficult colors better than traditional laser technology. It is likely to be FAR more effective than you are imagining. Please consider coming in for a consultation and trying it (it also works in fewer sessions and is less painful) before resorting to surgery and creating a large scar.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 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.