Tattoo removal

The Surgery

Depending on the size of the tattoo to be removed, it may be possible to treat the patient in the outpatient clinic. During surgical removal, the skin is numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic. The tattoo is removed with a scalpel, and the edges of skin are stitched back together. Small tattoos can be excised (direct closure), or a skin graft may be required if the tattoo is large. If very large, serial excision can be performed over a period of months.

Direct closure

This can be performed under local anaesthetic. The sutures are removed (if not dissolving) according to site of wound (e.g. on the back ten to fourteen days, on the arm five to seven days). Skin coloured surgical tape is applied for minimum two weeks to help support the scar and scar maturation. The scar will need moisturising (with a bland moisturiser) and massaging to help with the final result.

Minimal discomfort may be experienced after tattoo removal, which can be easily controlled with painkillers of your choice. The patient is permitted to shower as long as care is taken not to get the dressings wet.
Sun block should be worn for eighteen to twenty four months over the affected areas as it will be prone to burning.

Split Skin Graft

Split skin grafts involve taking a piece of skin from an area near where the tatto is removed from (to achieve a better skin tone match).

This skin is held in place with sutures (either with or without a pressure pad) for seven to fouteen days and then inspected.

If healed the grafted area may be left exposed and moisturiser applied to help with maturation and the final result. If not healed, the graft will be redressed and left for another five to seven days.

The donor site usually heals in seven to fourteen days rather like a graze.

Next Steps

For further information please contact Miss Patel to arrange a consultation.

To arrange for a Consultation with Miss Patel please click here

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