Excision Tattoo Removal: Drastic Measures
It wasn’t so very long ago that excision tattoo removal was really the best weapon available to successfully do away with a problem ink on skin design. Unfortunately, excision – the cutting away of the marked portion, is invasive and opens up a whole raft of potential problems. Edges need to heal and much like a burn victim, the layer of skin removed needs to be replaced: often achieved via a skin graft from another area of the body such as the buttocks. Harvesting skin from the butt means another, secondary wound is opened up; providing another location for potential infection.
We have more choices these days, and in addition our medical services in the field of cosmetic surgery have become vastly more sophisticated than even 20 years ago. It is also true that even though we now have access to the wonders of laser therapy, sometimes excision tattoo removal is a better option. This is generally the case for very large sections and those which incorporate forms of ink which aren’t ideally receptive to a safe frequency of laser light.
Is it really worth it?
If a surgical option is your only feasible option: is it really worth it? For some people, the answer will be an unequivocal ‘yes’. Perhaps the tattoo has come to represent a particularly unpleasant time in their life or was just a foolish decision of youth that their older self would dearly love to be rid of. In the case of gang symbols and/or inflammatory imagery such as a swastika or offensive phrase, a tattoo may not only be visually unappealing to the wearer but may also present a danger: acting as a red flag to antagonists.
For others though, it really might be best to leave well enough alone. Ok, you don’t especially like the tattoo – but unless you truly loathe it, surgery might just seem too extreme. There are ways of dressing around problem areas and most tattoos can be successfully covered over in everyday situations. Your interviewer for that great new job doesn’t need to know about the tiger clawing his way over your right shoulder blade: wear an undershirt and even some pan makeup and no one need know.
If excision tattoo removal is the method chosen, aftercare is especially important. Laser therapy attracts a risk of infection also, but the risk is much greater where the skin will actually be opened up and exposed to the elements. Considering that the original tattoo makes this a site which has already experienced trauma in the past, close attention to aftercare may prevent not only infection but also scarring.
Resist the urge to interfere with any scab which forms over the wound, it’s there to protect the healing skin and while it might not look very pretty, it needs to be left alone to do its job.
Your surgeon will almost certainly prescribe an antibiotic in some form, most commonly as a topical ointment. Be sure to apply exactly as instructed to fend off any infection which may hinder healing.
Choice of a skilled cosmetic surgeon to perform the excision tattoo removal might be the most important aspect of the entire process. If you locate a practitioner in whom you can place your wholehearted trust, you will be more relaxed and retain an optimistic outlook which will in turn assist your healing.