Possible to Remove a Tattoo Through Excision?

I have a tattoo that is 4 1/2 by 3 inches on my inner forearm. I read that large tattoos will need a skin graft but they don't specify how large. I won't mind a skin graft and I don't care about scars. How much would it cost?

Doctor Answers 3

Serial excisions are best for large tattoos

Grafting has inherent risks on its own.  I prefer serial excision for large tattoos, which removes the need for skin grafting completely.  Excision is the only way to completely remove a tattoo which is the goal for many people.  Of course the down side is a scar which you would have to be willing to accept to go this route.  Hope this helps!

Arlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Tattoo Removal

My recommendation for a tattoo of this size and location would be to strongly consider laser tattoo removal.  A surgical excision is certainly an option for smaller tattoos in certain areas of the body but a larger tattoo on the forearm would not give an acceptable scar given the excellent cosmetic appearance typically obtainable with removal using an appropriate laser.  An excision in this area would likely cost as much or more than removal with a laser by an experienced provider.
Kind Regards,

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tattoo excision

No, what you are considering is 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.

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.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

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