Tattoo Removal

If you’re looking to remove a tattoo that you regret having, we can help. Bella Vou offer safe and effective tattoo removal so you can show some skin with confidence.

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Duration 1-2 hours
Anaesthesia Local anaesthetic
Hospital Stay None
Recovery 1-2 weeks
Addresses Unwanted tattoos

Is this right for me?

It is not unusual for people to fall out of love with tattoos because we all change with time. Occasionally tattoos cause considerable distress to their owners or loved ones perhaps because of associations to past events or relationships.

If you no longer want to have the tattoo and are prepared to exchange it for a surgical scar then surgery is guaranteed to remove the tattoo. Maybe you have already had laser treatment but are still left with a mark that is unsatisfactory.

If the tattoo is only a few centimetres in width and you can squeeze the skin around it so that it disappears it may be amenable for surgical excision with one or 2 operations. Because surgery is usually planned as an oval (ellipse), long, thin shapes of tattoo may be particularly suitable for this treatment. The tattoo would definitely be gone once the surgery is completed.

What does this involve?

This varies depending on the extent of the tattoo. It can involve one operation or several operations. The resulting scar can be a single straight line or a larger grafted area.

Frequently asked questions

Find the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Again, this is dependent on the extent of the tattoo. As it is a day case procedure, you will be able to go home the same day. If the tattoo covers the upper/ lower limb or across joints, then a large bandage and/or splint will be required. This will keep the area stable to prevent wound breakdown and minimise movement around the wound edges.

If the wound edges have to be drawn together too tightly in order to close the wound, this can lead to a thick or an untidy scar or even a scar which splits before it has healed. For this reason the surgeon may recommend 2 or 3 stages of surgery over the course of several months. Small folds or wrinkles can form at each end of the scar ('dog-ears'). Again this depends on the position of the tattoo, the elasticity of the skin and the amount of skin removed at surgery. Dog-ears can be corrected although this is done by making the scar a bit longer.

It should usually be possible to do the surgery as an awake (local anaesthetic) operation although operations to remove larger tattoos would be done under general anaesthetic especially if skin grafting is required. You would go home the same day and the wound is covered with adhesive dressings and possibly some bandaging. The scar needs to be protected with dressings for 1-2 weeks after operation.

This can be a difficult decision and it is really a question of weighing up the pros and cons of the two techniques.

Surgery offers a more predictable outcome: The tattoo will definitely be removed and the number of treatments can typically be determined at your first consultation. The down-side is a surgical scar. Laser offers the chance of tattoo eradication with no surgical scar and little or no mark on the skin. This outcome and the number of sessions required to achieve it is more difficult to predict. The cost of an individual laser treatment is relatively small compared to an operation but multiple treatments may be required so that overall, the cost of either approach will be similar.

Plastic surgeons use meticulous technique to make the wound closure as neat as possible and stitches are typically buried so as to avoid train-track stitch marks. Orienting scars to follow natural skin creases and contours is beneficial. Supporting the healing wound with adhesive tapes for 6 weeks after surgery is also helpful in achieving a neat scar. Usually, a scar treated in this way will be red and thin for a few weeks and then it will fade and spread slightly over the subsequent 3-6 months. The end result will be a flat soft scar approximately 5mm wide and very slightly paler than adjacent skin.

Despite this, scar healing biology varies between individuals and, indeed in the same person, scars will behave differently depending particularly upon age and the location of the scar. If you are prone to making thick scars ('scar hypertrophy' or 'keloid' scar), you may well suffer from the same problem if you have surgery. Teenagers, young adults, red-heads and Afro-Caribbeans tend to make thicker scars. The shoulder and the cleavage/sternal area of the chest are also more prone to thick scars. If the scar splits slightly before it has healed or if it gets infected, this may also contribute to a thickening. If scar thickening does occur, there are options to treat it.


At Bella Vou we provide various payment options meaning you can spread the cost and enjoy a confident outlook at a price you can afford.

Prices start from £1,000.

Finance your treatment

We can offer a wide range of incredible finance solutions and payment plans to help you pay for your procedure or treatment, starting from as little as 0% APR!

Your consultation

Each private consultation with one of our pioneering surgeons will leave you fully informed about what results you can expect.


You can download information on this page as handy info sheets to refer to whenever you like.

Title Category
Tattoo Removal Information Procedure Information
Tattoo Removal Consent Consent Form