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Tummy Tuck and Tattoos: What to Know

Recently, Dr. Ary Krau has had some inquires from tummy tuck candidates with lower abdominal tattoos. These patients expressed curiosity about whether surgery will alter their tattoos — and if so, how? The Miami tummy tuck surgeon shares the answers in this post.

Will Tummy Tuck Alter or Remove My Tattoo?

How tummy tuck surgery changes a tattoo depends on the size and location of the tattoo, and the amount of skin and fat that need to be removed. It’s difficult to comment on a specific case without a thorough in-person evaluation with Dr. Krau.

Usually, tummy tuck involves removing a large amount of skin from the lower abdomen. For patients with tattoos on the lower abdomen, removing the skin may remove a large portion or all of the tattoo. This may be beneficial if the patient no longer likes the tattoo or a problem if the patient wants to keep the tattoo intact.

Sometimes, tattoos remain intact after tummy tuck but simply shift closer to the underwear line, or look more stretched-out than normal.

Patients whose tattoos are partially removed during tummy tuck can either leave the area as-is after surgery, or have the tattoo redone. However, there are some potential complications of having the tattoo redone, as Dr. Krau will explain below.

Adding a Tattoo to Cover a Tummy Tuck Scar

Adding a tattoo to cover a tummy tuck scar is a personal preference and up to the discretion of the patient. However, Dr. Krau gently warns patients to carefully consider this option. Camouflaging a scar with a tattoo may actually call more attention to the scar. Also, scarred tissue does not hold the ink color as well as healthy skin. In fact, not only is tattooing fragile scar tissue difficult, it can also cause the scar to thicken or the tissue to develop an infection. Finally, scars tend to fade significantly over time, so young scars (less than a few years old) may become less of a concern after a few years.

If you have a tattoo on your lower abdomen and would like a better idea of how tummy tuck will alter it, Dr. Krau would be happy to consult with you. Please call or email our practice today to book your appointment.

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Miami Plastic Surgery Center
Ary Krau, M.D.

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