A Guide to Tummy Tuck and Tattoos

Blonde woman kneels in a grassy field with her hand on her shoulder, showing the colorful tattoo on her forearm.

Tattoos are no longer reserved for bikers and rock stars. They’ve become popular for everyone, from stay-at-home-moms to urban professions. Because so many of my patients have tattoos, I thought it would be fitting to talk about tummy tuck surgery at my Albany, NY practice and what happens to tattoos during the procedure.

Depending on the placement of the tattoo, it could end up distorted or partially (or even completely) removed. If you are undergoing a mini tummy tuck, only the lower belly will be altered and tightened. However, the upper abdomen is not significantly affected by the surgery. If you opt for a mini tummy tuck and your tattoo is placed on your upper abdomen, it will only be affected very little, if at all.

If you decide to get a traditional tummy tuck, there is more of a chance that your tattoo will be affected. However, this should not deter you from the surgery. The mini version of the procedure is reserved for people who only need minimal tightening. A full tummy tuck will give you more significant results.

An extended tummy tuck can address significant laxity that causes overhang that extends around the hips. This procedure can affect tattoos that are placed on your abdomen, hips, and even ones on your sides, close to your back.

If you’d like a clearer or more personalized idea of what your own tattoo will look like after your procedure, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will be able to give you more information based on your specific body, tattoo, and surgical plan. You should be prepared to have an honest conversation with your surgeon about how much of the tattoo will realistically remain unaffected by surgery and whether you’re willing to get the tattoo redone after your surgery.

Patients who are unhappy with their abdominal tattoos can consider laser tattoo removal after surgery. It wouldn’t be beneficial to undergo the treatment before the procedure, because after surgery there will be less tattoo to remove. Most surgeons recommend waiting to undergo laser tattoo removal until after a tummy tuck.

If you want to learn more about incision placement and how you’ll look once you’ve recovered, check out my previous blog post on the topic. If you want to discuss your own tummy tuck options, give us a call at (518) 328-3330 to talk to a member of our staff or schedule your consultation.

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