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Pros and Cons of Surgery (Excision)

Another way of removing and unwanted tattoo is resorting to surgery. This process is called excision tattoo removal. Put simply what happens is a surgeon performs the operation whilst you are under local anesthetic and removes the skin where the tattoo is in order to get rid of the ink from the Dermis layer of your skin. The surgeon will then re-attach the skin that was removed minus the ink that was underneath it, which results in a complete tattoo removal.

While this sounds great, there are down sides to it as well as up. Lets explore them:

The Good

  1. Complete tattoo removal guaranteed as the surgeon will in essence “dig up” your skin and remove the ink that is underneath the epidermis layer.
  2. Painless process: You are under local anesthetic and don’t feel a thing!
  3. One Time Only: This is usually the case as this method is recommended for small tattoos in areas that can be covered up.
  4. Quick: The surgery usually lasts for anywhere between 1-2 hours depending on the size of the tattoo.

The Bad

  1. Expensive: It is by far the most expensive one time payment method as it usually costs from £1000 upwards.
  2. Scarring: Because skin is being cut and removed, scarring is almost 100% guaranteed to occur. If the tattoo is small and in a not so noticeable place (like the ankle) then it is better than a more noticeable place (neck).
  3. Skin Grafts: If the tattoo is large, then it may take some skin grafts (taking skin from other parts of your body) in order to cover the area that is being operated on. Bleeding and a possible rupture of veins can also often occur with large tattoos being removed.
  4. Complication and Allergic Reactions: Some people are allergic and can develop complications after being under local anesthetic. The operation is too painful to be done without it.

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Recommendation

Due to the one time, one off cost, and the tattoo size being a factor when it comes to scarring, we don’t recommend this method for most tattoos. If however you have a small tattoo (like a small butterfly for example) and it is in a place where you don’t mind having a scar (like the ankle) and you don’t mind the cost of £1000 then this could be an option if you want the tattoo removed as quickly as possible.

We still recommend the laser tattoo removal method. It is more affordable and manageable and doesn’t leave big scars (if you treat it well after the laser treatment) like excision does.

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