Plastic surgeon Thessaloniki, Greece, Dr. Ioannis Gkotsikas





procedure time

1 hour



hospital stay

2 - 3 hours

time off work

1 - 2 days

Tattoos are increasingly popular and come in every possible size, color and shape. Respectively, there are a lot of people that want their tattoos removed after a period of time. Almost half of those that had a tattoo regret it later.

Tattoos can be removed with a variety of techniques, including laser and skin abrasion. None of these ways can warranty full removal. The final outcome of every method depends on various factors such as:

  • The tattoo’s age
  • The color and quality of the ink
  • The depth and area of the infusion

Surgical removal is the fastest and most effective method of tattoo removal. It is applied mostly on smaller tattoos. In some body areas, the scar is minimal and very hard to detect. Such areas are the wrist, neck and the inguinal region. This happens because the scar line is parallel to the body’s cleavage lines and the healing process is thus optimal.

A great advantage of surgical tattoo removal is the direct result of the procedure. While with other methods the time that is required is very long, with repeated sessions and ambiguous results, surgical removal is both direct and effective. This fact is very important, particularly in cases where time really matters, such as a professional commitment or a personal or social event.

Regarding medium-sized tattoos, total surgical excision in one session may not be feasible. In these cases, surgical removal is possible in repeated sessions (serial excision) with a few weeks’ interval.

Surgical removal is not indicated for all tattoos. When these cover a larger area, such as the whole back or arm, excision is not possible. In these cases, one may turn to other options, such as lasers.

The procedure

Firstly, the plastic surgeon assesses the tattoo and discusses all the available removal options. The operation is then scheduled and is carried out under local anesthesia. The duration of the procedure is about 30-45 minutes and depends on the size of the tattoo. Absorbable sutures are used that need not be removed. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed in order to avoid infection, pain and inflammation.

When more sessions are required, the above mentioned procedure is repeated after a few weeks.

I have already done a couple of laser treatments. Can I have my tattoo removed surgically now?

Yes. Tattoo surgical removal can be done at any point and is equally safe and effective.

How can I know if I need more that one session for my tattoo to be surgically removed?

You’ll have a direct evaluation during your consultation. Alternatively, you can e-mail us a photo of the tattoo you want to remove and can get a direct answer.


Duration of surgery

1 hour



Stay at the clinic

1 - 3 hours

Return to work

1 - 2 days


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