A tattoo is created by driving ink into the deeper layers of the skin via a needle. When the ink pigment reaches the middle layer of the skin, certain cells eat the pigment. These cells cannot digest the pigment and so the pigment remains inside these cells and can be seen from the surface of the skin what we commonly call a tattoo.
There are two options for removing a tattoo: surgery or laser depigmentation.
1. Surgery: With surgery, the skin bearing the tattoo is cut out and the hole in the skin is sewn shut to leave a scar. The aim is to leave as small a scar as possible, in the best direction to result in the most hidden scar which often just looks like you have had an operation. Small tattoos can usually be treated in a single procedure under local anaesthetic (with you awake) in the outpatient department. Larger tattoos may need to be removed in two, or more, procedures. This allows the tight skin to stretch and go slack between excisions so that more of the tattoo can be removed after several months (known as serial excision)
2.Laser Treatment: Laser treatment works by firing an intense light at the tattoo. Certain pigments absorb certain lights and heat up. This heat destroys the cells which hold the pigment. This can work quite well with some colours (red, green) but is much less effective with other colours (eg blue-black). However, often the pigment which is released from the cells is simply eaten by other nearby cells and this results in smudging of the tattoo. Occasionally the heating effect may change the colour of the tattoo but not remove it.
You may consider it worth trying Laser treatment in the first instance because if it works well and the colours fade then you would have minimal scarring. But in reality, many many laser treatment sessions are required, which can prove very costly, and the final result is that the colour often fades or smudges but it still looks like a tattoo!
Arm reduction is fast becoming one of the more popular cosmetic surgical procedures. The two main concerns patients have are bingo wings and wrinkly arm skin. Bingo wings are the loose skin and fat folds at the back of the upper arms which will just not tighten up with any amount of exercise. Wrinkly arm skin occurs in women with fine skin; as the skin loses its natural elasticity, the skin on the upper arms forms many fine wrinkles and looks really old. In order to disguise this appearance some women will no longer wear sleeveless or short sleeved clothes. In both of these situations an upper arm reduction will remove the excess skin and tighten up the remaining skin producing a taut, more youthful appearance.
In order to fully remove the folds and tighten the remaining skin, a long scar is required (from the armpit to just above the elbow), but this is usually well hidden inside the upper arm. The operation can be done under either a local or general anaesthetic and takes about an hour and a half. There is usually no need for an overnight stay in hospital. Buried dissolvable stitches are used so there are no stitches to be removed. The wound usually heals by about 2 weeks, though it takes up to 6 months for the scar to become fully mature.
The inner lips (or labia minora) of the vagina can occasionally be oversized, resulting in embarrassment and occasionally discomfort during sex, exercise or even when wearing jeans or underwear. A labial reduction operation is a simple surgical procedure which reduces the excess skin and corrects these problems.
There are two surgical approaches to reducing the labia. Some surgeons simply cut them off, but this results in a somewhat odd postoperative appearance. It is better to refashion the labia, which involves a little more surgery, but a much more natural postoperative appearance.
The operation can be done under general anaesthetic (with you asleep) or occasionally under local anaesthetic and sedation. The procedure takes about an hour and a half and there is usually no need to stay in hospital overnight. All sutures are dissolvable so there is no need to have stitches removed. Most patients return to normal sexual activity after 6 weeks.
The majority of skin lesions don't cause serious problems, but you may want to have them removed for aesthetic reasons. If you do wish to have a skin lesion removed for whatever reason.
Small lesions can be removed under local anaesthetic (numbed, while you are awake) on an outpatient basis (you turn up, have the mole removed in the clinic setting and go home within an hour) and the wound usually heals to leave a small, neat scar.
The technique used to remove your skin lesion will depend on factors such as its size and where it is on your body. You will be advised which method is most appropriate for you.
If you would like to have a mole removed, or discuss mole removal, please contact us at the above number and we shall arrange this for you.