Close Menu
Close Menu
Close Menu
01342 330302

Surgical Tattoo Removal

Mr Banwell, Cosmetic Surgeon is one of the leading specialists in the area of surgical tattoo removal (excision) in the UK.

He performs effective surgical tattoo removal, tattoo excision and laser tattoo removal in his clinics (The Banwell Clinic) in the South East of England. As a specialist in this field, he attracts patients from all over the country for these affordable procedures. For tattoo excision, laser tattoo removal and surgical tattoo removal in London, Kent , Surrey and or indeed further afield please email or phone 01342 330302. His team would be happy to discuss your requirements.


Surgical tattoo removal refers to the surgical excision (cutting out) of a tattoo on the skin. This is carried out by Mr Paul Banwell FRCS(Plast), Consultant Plastic Surgeon, who is a specialist in tattoo removal. The resultant wound is usually then put back together with stitches (sutures). Surgical excision swaps the tattoo for a (usually) linear scar. Sometimes it is not possible to remove the tattoo all in one go and several procedures are required (serial tattoo excision) – this usually applies to medium to large tattoos and those in difficult anatomical locations. Mr Banwell will advise on whether surgical removal is possible when he sees you in the clinic; please note that photographs sent through in advance can also be very useful. Please note that larger tattoos may not be suitable for this technique and skin grafting may be the only surgical option.


The facts say historically, tattoos have been around as a means of changing body image for centuries. For instance, in 1991 an ice mummy (dating back to 3000BC) was found in the Alps with over 50 tattoos on the body. The connotations of tattoos have also changed over time too: in the past they used to be associated with criminals and less favourable members of society but today celebrities and high profile figures sport tattoos as body art and act as role models for younger people. Never before have tattoos been more popular and the number of outlets in the UK offering tattoo services has almost doubled in the last few years (to over 1300!). There now appears to be no stigmatisation amongst the general population with having tattoos on their bodies, and tattoos are becoming more common among women, professionals and all ethnic groups.

Statistics say probably over 20 million people in the United Kingdom have a tattoo of some kind on their body and various surveys in the USA reveal on average that about 35% of young Americans aged between 18 to 29, 25% of those between 30 to 40 years and 10% of those between 40 to 49 years have tattoos.  Esquire Magazine estimated in 2002 that 1 in 8 Americans was tattooed. That is a lot of tattoos.


However, just as the popularity for tattoos increases, so does the desire for removal too: Mr Banwell has seen a rapid demand for tattoo removal as people either have regrets about having a tattoo or feel as though it is hindering their job prospects or personal relationships. Many of his patients have tried extensive (unsuccessful) courses of laser removal but then come to him for definitive surgical removal. “Whilst lasers can be useful for removal of some tattoos, many of my patients come to me disappointed and seeking an alternative solution. Surgical removal is often possible under a local anaesthetic in the outpatient department either in one sitting or as part of serial removal. The results can be very rewarding and patients are delighted.” However, some larger tattoos may require a skin graft or may not be suitable for removal at all (eg. ‘sleeve’ tattoos).


Mr Banwell recently received a letter of thanks from a grateful patient who had obtained a tattoo in her younger days, in a moment of madness, which had subsequently been a source of embarrassment for many years. “It is very gratifying to see that such a simple procedure can have such a major effect on someone’s well-being”.

Mr Banwell can be consulted in East Grinstead for guaranteed tattoo removal, Harley Street London for surgical tattoo removal, Haywards Heath for surgical tattoo excision, Brighton for tattoo excision and Tunbridge Wells for tattoo excision. He accepts patients from all over the UK and indeed the world. One of his grateful patients appeared in The Telegraph discussing her experiences and indeed has written an influential blog on the subject.

Ready to take
The Next Step?

View The Before
And After Gallery

View stunning results of Mr Banwell's expertise and view real results in this treatments before and after gallery.

Price From

Please contact Mr Banwell's office on 01342 330302 or email for further information.

Download The
Treatment Factsheet

For your convenience Mr Banwell has created a factsheet for this treatment to download and retain.

At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


At a Glance


The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic (with you awake and the skin numbed by giving an injection) but sometimes a general anaesthetic may be necessary. This is a quick and simple procedure with a short recovery period. Some tattoo’s require serial excision (ie. sequential removal of tattoos in stages) as they may be more extensive.

The operation itself may take at best between 30 – 60 minutes, depending upon the size of tattoo being removed. You will be in the operating theatre for slightly longer than this to prepare for surgery beforehand and have the injection of the local anaesthetic.

After the surgery the wound will be dressed with brown micropore tape. This can get wet (showering or washing) but you should not soak in the bath. You will be able to shower the day after surgery, after which you can pat the tape dry with a towel then use a hairdryer. It is important to ensure the tape is fully dried. This will stay in place until after your stitches are removed. Mr Banwell may also give you antibiotics medication in some instances during the aftercare process.

You will be able to return to sedentary activity (i.e. an office job) the following day, but should avoid strenuous physical activity for a minimum of 2-weeks. Stitches may be removed between 1- and 2-weeks after the surgery although often Mr Banwell prefers to use dissolvable sutures. You will be able to drive the following day if you are careful. If the operation was on your neck, it is important not to bend down or lift things for 48-hours after the operation – this is to minimise the risk of bleeding (for example, when doing up shoe laces, bring your foot up whilst sitting down, rather than bending down). It is also a good idea to use a couple of pillows when sleeping to avoid laying flat. This helps minimize swelling.

This is a safe, reliable and simple procedure with a low complication rate.

Surgical tattoo excision and tattoo removal is usually very safe but some pain, and complications can occur. These include scarring, adverse scarring, wound infection, bleeding (usually just bleeding through the dressing), numbness, contour irregularity damage to nerves and vessels, delayed wound healing and the formation of a lumpy scar (known as a hypertrophic or keloid scar). Mr Banwell will discuss whether it is possible to remove your tattoo surgically. Sometimes this can be performed in one sitting but sometimes serial surgical removal of tattoo is required.

Please note that smoking can increase the rate of complications and Mr Banwell may decide that surgery may not be appropriate if you are still smoking.

These were only minor operations, but I have never had anything like it before. All I can say is that it was an excellent place to start. The care was excellent from start to finish with a perfect blemish free outcome. I would certainly recommend the service to others.

Warwick S.

I liked what was written about Mr Banwell and that he was a family man with lots of experience specialising in the operation I wanted. All my expectations were met and at my consultations any worried and questions were answered. I felt Mr Banwell took away any worries I had and has a very kind manner. I would recommend Mr Banwell and say that you are in a high standard of care and well looked after. I had an enjoyable time and was looked after in every way and Mr Banwell and his team are professional in every way.

Lynn A.

It is hard for me to find the right words to thank you enough for everything you have done for me. I am sure that my speedy recovery is the result of the amazing job you have done. You are such a remarkable man and a great surgeon. Thank you for everything.

Jesma D.

From the welcome I got on my first visit to post op consultations, the team were very friendly. Mr Banwell is undoubtedly the most professional and caring surgeon I could wish for. I have felt completely confident in his expertise, and am thrilled with the results. I would not hesitate – and indeed have – recommended him.

Helen F.

I was very happy with the care I got from Mr Banwell, his team and the staff at the McIndoe Surgical Centre. Mr Banwell and his team were extremely friendly and quick to meet my needs at all times. The team were very professional and always made me feel at ease and welcome at all my consultations and throughout my stay at the surgical centre. The outcome of my surgery is amazing! I am extremely happy with the results I got; it turned out better than I thought. The surgery has really helped my confidence and way of life and I am very grateful for that. Mr Banwell is a fantastic surgeon with a very friendly and professional approach, which is wonderful. I would definitely, without hesitation, recommend Mr Banwell and his team to others considering cosmetic surgery.

Hannah G.

I am so happy with what Mr Banwell has done for me. It is clear that I was very well advised by Mr Banwell which type of implant would be best for me, as the end result I have is amazing and is completely natural. Also the care I received at the hospital was very pleasant, I actually enjoyed my stay there, and the procedure was pain free. From the overall experience I have had I would gladly recommend Mr Banwell to anyone.

Claire T.


realself Top Contributor
  • Sign Up to The Newsletter

Our Awards

My Face My Body Ultimate 100 2019
My Face My Body Awards Winner 2018
Aesthetic Awards
Safety In Beauty

Brand Partners

Silhouette Soft

The Banwell Clinic

The Banwell Clinic is recognised as a boutique cosmetic clinic specialising in all aspects of skin health and our philosophy is to help Protect, Restore & Rejuvenate your face and body.  Our extensive portfolio of treatments include injectables, thread lifts, plasma shower, luxurious signature facials, acne treatments, microdermabrasion, hair removal and cellulite treatments, all carried out in a friendly, warm environment by an expert team.

Visit the Banwell Clinic