Tattoo Excision

I have a tattoo around my bellybutton can i get it excised and hide scars in my bellybutton? I asked my plastic surgeon and he said it would cause unsightly scars, but I have a bellybutton it can be hidden I guess I just do not understand why.

Doctor Answers 2

Tattoo excision

It is possible that the size of the tattoo and the excision necessary is too great to hide it in the umbilicus. Usually, an excision around an item must be longer in length than width in order to create a flat line scar during the closure of the skin without puckering up the ends of the skin which would be permanent and unsightly. So even if the tattoo is the size of a dime, the length of the scar could be as long as three dimes put together in a row and this might be too long to hide around the periphery or in the belly button. Sometimes a staged excision helps minimize the length and the scar is removed as a smaller amount but redone a few times.  The other possibility is that some people's skin is prone to spread scars over time or raised (hypertrophic or keloid) scarring and also hyperpigmentation (darkening) and these would then be obvious over time even if the scar were hidden in the belly button initially.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Tattoo excision

No, what you are considering is probably not a good option. 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. Complications such as  wound  healing problems and/or spreading of the scar  may occur.

I would suggest laser tattoo treatment.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

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