Getting a Tattoo After Surgery?

I had an appointment for a tattoo for my birthday before booking my surgery date. Now I will be having a mommy makeover Jan 31st so is getting a tattoo on my wrist Feb 10th ok or should I cancel the appt? If so then when would it be safe to get it? Or would it be safe to get it now & have time for it to heal before surgery?

Doctor Answers 23

Tattoo After Surgery

With regards to getting a tattoo after a mommy makeover, it is probably fine to do one fairly soon after surgery. However, the worse care scenario, especially if implants were placed, would be having an infection of the tattoo site. I feel like both of these procedures are elective and as a result why not allow a certain amount healing from the surgery before a second injury in the form of a tattoo is caused. I would recommend waiting a few months after the procedure just to allow the body to return to a more normal noninflamed stage following the healing process before having a tattoo performed. In most cases, the time period could be shortened and most likely it would still be fine.

Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Tattoo following surgery

A tattoo on your wrist, remote from your surgical site, should not present any issue to the recovery from your mommy makeover, even when performed only 10 days after surgery.  You may still have some post-op discomfort at that point, but again, this should not create a problem.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Timing for tattoo after surgery

Most healing occurs in the first six weeks following surgery.  The incision sites then continue to fade for the next six months to two years.  The maturing scar might influence the tattoo in these earlier stages of healing.  It seems prudent to wait at least three months following surgery for a tattoo on the scar, but more time would probably be better.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

I'd hold off

As a general matter, I would ask my breast implant patients to wait 6 weeks after surgery before getting a tattoo, and only that soon if there have been no complications. The biggest concern I have is the risk of infection from the tatoo that would spread to the surgical site and require us to remove your implants. Since there does not seem to be any particular reason to rush, waiting is generally the better course of action.

Of course, it is critical that you ask this question to your doctor. Only s/he knows your exact medical conditions and the way you are healing. When s/he feels like it is safe, then you can go ahead and get the tattoo.

Happy almost birthday!

Jason Brett Lichten, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tattoo after surgery

The biggest concern is getting an infection that could harm your recovery. To be on the safe side, I'd advise you to wait a month or two but ask your surgeon.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Probably ok

Probably OK but I would check with your surgeon. What if you get an infection from your tattoo? There may be complicating factors and I would check with your surgeon first. 

Leland Deane, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Getting a tattoo after surgery?

This is a very good question. Any procedure that breaks the skin has the potential for creating an infection. An infection in any part of your body could allow bacteria to travel through your blood stream to the healing areas of your Mommy Make Over and create an infection. If you have a breast implant placed as a part of your Mommy Make Over it is even a greater risk. The implant is a foreign body and does not have the capacity to ward off an infectious process. If you develop an infection in your implant pocket, very likely your implant would need to be removed in order to allow proper healing. It would be best for you to either have the tattoo a few weeks before your surgery to allow for complete healing or wait 12 weeks after your operation to make sure you are well healed from your Mommy Make Over. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Wait two weeks.

Even though the tattoo you want to get is on your wrist and not anywhere near the operative incisions for your mommy makeover, it is important to separate the two time wise.In general we like at least a month after any surgery before a tattoo so that wounds are sealed and most of the early healing has happened before making a new “injury” with the tattoo.In the particular incidence of a mommy makeover with an implant the time actually needs to be longer. The problem with a tattoo is that tattooing needles penetrate the skin, and can potentially introduce bacteria into the skin or even into the blood stream and set up for an infection.Before 2 months the tissue around the implant is still in the process of healing, and it has not yet built up a scar tissue barrier around itself.Bacteria in the blood stream can get into the space around the implant and set up for or “seed” the area with infection.During that time any invasive procedures (like dental cleanings, elective surgeries, and colonoscopy) need to be avoided.If infections would get started around the implant it is very hard to treat and can sometimes make it necessary to remove the implant to get you healthy again.The best bet is to wait until 2 months after your mommy makeover to get your tattoo to avoid these problems.The other possibility is have your tattoo soon, and as long as it is completely healed before your surgery, then it will not cause any trouble.I would recommend at least 2 weeks before your mommy makeover to be certain you don’t have any problems that would cause you to have to delay your surgery or take unnecessary risks.

Marie E. Montag, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tattoo after mommy makeover

From a surgical standpoint it is safe to have your wrist tattooed 10d after your mommy makeover. However, you may not feel like having this done at that time... 

Good luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


You will have plenty on your plate with the Mommy Makeover recovery.  I would wait about 6 weeks before adding more trauma to your body.  Discuss with your surgeon though since he/she are in charge of your care.  Good luck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 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.