Tattoo Removal by Excision

I'm looking to get a tattoo removed. Its decently large. Its goes up about 10 inches wrist to a little over my elbow. The width is not very big. At some points its about 2 1/2 in width and others about 1 1/2. I'm not looking to try laser because i could put a lot of money into the tattoo removal and it wouldn't be a guaranteed removal. Any advice? Also can anyone give me a price range. Thanks!!

Doctor Answers 3

Excising a tattoo

In order to excise the tattoo you need enough skin laxity to close the wound.  Generally the forearm doesn't have enough extra skin to close a tatoo excision like yours in one setting.  You might need a staged excision and you will have a big long scar from doing it.

Tattoo removal laser vs excision

Excision is sometimes a reasonable option compared to laser. Excision always replaces the tattoo with a surgical scar, however. In some cases this may be acceptable if it avoids the multiple treatments needed with a laser. In larger tattoos it may not be possible to remove it all in one sitting without needing a skin graft which can definitely be unsightly. Serial excision, in which portions of the tattoo are removed with several weeks between excisions sometimes allows complete removal whole avoiding a skin graft. How feasible this is depends on the skin laxity in the area which differs by anatomic location and patient to patient.

Daniel Berg, MD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser tattoo removal

you may not be interested in laser tattoo removal but nothing works as well. Unfortunately laser tattoo removal does require multiple monthly treatments and the expense, which usually is a few hundred dollars (more or less) per visit, adds up. One time procedures that are invasive will cause more scarring possibly.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 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.