Surgical Excision for Unwanted Tattoos
Surgical excision – also called surgical removal – is a more invasive option for tattoo removal.
Some small tattoos might be good candidates for surgical removal, while others are considered too large to remove with a scalpel. Our dermatologic surgeon removes the tattoo using a scalpel and closes the wound with stitches. This technique proves highly effective in removing some tattoos and allows our surgeon to remove the inked areas with great precision.
Why choose surgical excision for tattoo removal
Highly effective for smaller tattoos
Offers improved precision
Side effects are generally minor, but may include:
Lack of complete pigment removal
A raised or thickened scar may appear three to six months after the tattoo is removed
Surgical tattoo removal
Also known as excision: this is where the patch of skin which contains the tattoo is, literally, cut out. As you might imagine this is a drastic means of tattoo removal and one that results in scarring. In some cases, a skin graft is needed to repair the treated area.
This is especially a problem for large tattoos or badly done tattoos which have not been done by a professional.
Surgical tattoo removal procedure
This starts with the injection of a local anaesthetic which will numb the area to be treated.
If you have a small tattoo then the surgeon will cut away this tattoo, bring the edges of skin together and close these with stitches. There is likely to be a minimal amount of bleeding which is cauterised in order to seal the wound.
These require a bit more work in that a skin graft will be required. The surgeon cuts away the tattoo as per normal and grafts an area of skin the thighs or underarms are the preferred sites onto the treated area. Due to the size several procedures may be carried out over a long period of time. This may involve removing the middle part of the tattoo to start with followed by the sides.
There is another technique called tissue expanderin which the surgeon inserts a deflated balloon into the skin next to the tattoo. This balloon is then inflated over a number of weeks which stretches the skin. Once the skin has been stretched to its maximum limit the tattoo can be cut away and the skin stitched together.