Tattoo Gone Wrong! Hoping my Tattoo Excision is Right:) - Cincinnati, OH

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Hello! I am new to this website, although I have...

Hello! I am new to this website, although I have commented on a few stories that are similar to mine. I will start from the beginning...So years ago I got a tattoo on my hip to symbolize something that happened in my life and I have never once regretted it. The artist did an amazing job and I was very happy with the outcome. I always wanted to get another tattoo but felt that nothing significant had happened in my life again to warrant a permanent fixture on my body. Fast forward to about 5 years later and my daughter Ava was born:) My husband had no tattoos and kept saying he wanted Ava's name tattooed on his arm. So that's when I decided I would not only be his support when he got "inked" for the first time...but I would finally be able to get that second tattoo I've always wanted and it have a special meaning. I decided I wanted it on my wrist (bad idea...having to look at it all day long). Ava's name means bird. Her nursery was decorated with that theme and birds are just so sweet that I thought I would get a tattoo of a bird's silhouette with the word love by it. My husband's tattoo turned out perfect. It was clean, crisp and the lettering was exactly what he wanted. Mine, well, what can I say...I am writing about wanting it removed. No disrespect to the artist, but it is NOT what I wanted. My fault, I know. I did not have the courage to tell the artist I did not like it. Lesson learned, an expensive lesson learned, a $750 lesson! Why $750? Because I am having it surgically removed in 2 days! I researched laser treatments, looked at dozens of before and after photos and none of them impressed me. It's not that the laser did not work. It was the time you have to devote that turned me off. For me, I would rather a scar than wait a year or more to see my tattoo gone. Not to mention, I am hoping to have baby #2 and I would not be able to do laser treatments while pregnant. So I went to a plastic surgeon who has done tattoo excision before and he said I am the perfect candidate. He could tell how depressed I was about it and how fed up I was at people telling me to change it and maybe I would like it more...if one more person told me to add an eye to the bird or a darn feather I was gonna scream! ;) So here I am, counting down the days to have this mistake removed and feel like me again. I will definitely update you on my procedure and hopefully he will let me take pictures of the surgery since he will only be numbing my wrist, not putting me under. Sorry for my long story...Good luck to you all!

Post Excision

Hello everyone!! Well the surgery is over:) First I want to apologize for no pictures. I asked the doctor if I could take some and he said it wasn't a good idea yet.... he thinks they'd be too graphic. Honestly, I think it's because what surgeon would want the world to see a fresh stitched up, bloody mess?? Obviously he wants his work to reflect his practice and it won't start to look good for about 2 weeks. In fact, I can't even see it right now. The bandage has to stay on for at least 2 weeks. The nurse said I can take a pic next Wednesday when she puts a new bandage on it. So until then...
However, I want to give you all a detailed account of how it went. First I laid down on a surgery table. The nurse was so sweet and put a sheet on me and then the doctor started injecting my wrist with local anesthesia. The anesthesia actually plumped up the skin on my wrist so not only could I not feel a thing, I had peace of mind knowing that the cuts would be no where near my veins or ligaments. He then put a paper sheet thingy around the area as to block my view and started cutting the tattoo off. I couldn't really see anything. I did see some blood but not too much. I also saw him lay part of my tattooed skin on the medical tray... I felt to relieved! The actual removal took 5 minutes. Then he stitched me up with thick stitches that go under the skin and that will eventually break down so I won't have to go back to get them removed. I did see the area before the bandages went on. I'm not going to lie. The scar will probably be about 4 1/2 inches long. But the nurse said over time it will not be as noticeable. She was so sweet. She rubbed my forehead as he was removing it and held my hand periodically. Overall, it was a great experience. I can't move my wrist too much for the next 2 weeks. I can bend it down but not up so the stitches don't tear. I can't say whether I recommend excision yet as I don't know what my wrist will look like. However, I will say that I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders knowing I took control of my mistake. It was an expensive lesson but what's $750 in the long run?? ;) I promise to post pics next week and keep everyone updated with photos of my scar as it heals. My tattoo is gone:)

The actual bandage

This is what the bandage looks like. You can see the waterproof plastic which is bunching my skin together. A little bit of blood has come through. The pain has subsided. Feeling anxious to see the scar!

Bandages off!

So I had to get my incision checked and my bandage changed today. I'm actually happy with the healing so far. It's only been 7 days so I'm excited to post more pics in a couple weeks. I have to keep it bandaged for 14 more days. After that it's just a routine of applying lotion and massaging the scar to help with the scar tissue.

2 1/2 week scar update

Took my bandage off 4 days early...looking good so far. It will definitely take a few more weeks to heal and then hopefully after a few months the scar will be minimal. I have attached a picture from one week post op compared to yesterday at 2.5 weeks post op.

More photos 2.5 weeks

Picture update

Still happy. Some days the scar is very red and other days it is lighter. After lots of research it seems it can take 6 months to a year for the redness to fade. More people noticed the tattoo than the scar so it's nice not having to explain what my tattoo is anymore. I will continue to post throughout the year:)

4 month update...

More red than a few weeks ago but I read that is normal... Blood vessels are healing it. 6 more months and it should blend in much more. Still no regret!

5 months post surgery

I was inspired to post an update from seeing everyone else's excision results... Which look great by the way! My scar tends to have some really red days still. Today looked good so I have attached a photo. You can see a scab to the left. There was actually a suture that did not absorb that my body was rejecting. I had to dig it out with tweezers! Besides that though things are slowly healing. Have a great day everyone!

8 months post excision

The redness comes and goes but I have less and less people noticing my scar. The left side of the scar is raised which bothers me but I'm hoping with time it will settle down and just blend in with my normal skin.

2 years post excision

Just realized I had quite a few emails in my real self inbox and I feel horrible it took me so long to respond. I still don't regret my decision to get my tattoo removed surgically! The scar will always be there but it always reminds me to think long and hard before I do things;)
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon

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