Is This Tattoo a Good Candidate for Excision Removal? (photo)

I just got inked... and I regret it. There's a story, but the bottom line is that I wasn't in the right emotional state when I got it. My question is if this tattoo can be removed by excision. I've been looking into laser removal and it seems like the colors aren't the best to absorb lasers, and I don't want to have to be treated 10+ times. Also, if it's possible, what sort of scarring should I expect? It's located on the inner bicep and I'm a healthy 22 year old. Overall is about 2inX2in

Doctor Answers 4

Laser tattoo removal, excision tattoo removal, laser

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The tattoo you are describing on your inner arm does have bright colors which are challenging to remove with a laser. You could in 2-3 procedures ( likely office based) excise the tattoo but the tradeoff would be a scar in that location, which at times can be red and wide. 

Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Yes,nthis tattoo should respond well to laser tattoo removal.

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Laser tattoo removal can work well if your doctor has all of the tattoo removal wavelengths:  1064nm, 755nm, 532nm and 694nm.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tattoo excision in stages

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A tattoo that large cannot be excised in one session. There is not enough give in the arm to take something out that is 2x2 in one session. So you'd need a staged excision where a football shaped piece is removed and those edges are closed. After the site has healed some, an additional section is taken out. And if needed a third excision is done. With a tattoo of this size you will have a pretty significant scar as well. If you would like to opt for laser treatment I would expect some of the color to be removed pretty well, then you could opt to have a surgical excision done only of the areas not removed as well.

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Best option for this tattoo

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I would advise against excising this tattoo as the scare will be unsightly and possibly uncomfortable as well. The tattoo removal field has improved dramatically in the past year with the introduction of the PicoSure laser and the common practice of multiple treatments in one session. This tattoo will require more than one laser for the different colors but should do well with the right and technology in experienced hands.

Roy G. Geronemus, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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.