My doc says absolutely no way! But, someone I know has a double lung transplant and got tattooed after. She says that as long as 1. you bring your own needle and 2. you make sure the paint hoses are new, you will be OK.

Anyone else here have tattoos that they got after their transplant that can provide advice?


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After about twenty years post transplant(second one) I went under the needles, so to speak. My first tattoo,was a winged kidney; which I designed myself. After I had my second tattoo I finally showed it to the doctors and nurses when I was at a clinic visit. Nothing was said. I'm had my third and I'm in the process of designing my fourth.
So, did you just do the tattoo without any special precautions on the artist having new hoses or needles, etc.?
Before I decided on the artist I made sure that he would be using all new materials. When he was finished with the tattoo he destroyed all the needles he used while doing my tattoo.
I thought about getting one for years before I found an artist that I was comfortable with. I even explained that I was an organ transplant recipient. I don't think he took extra precautions because of that, its just the way that he operates, quickly and cleanly.
I will say that when I revealed the tattoo at clinic the nurses were more impressed than the doctor.
Yes, I spoke with the artist long before my first tattoo, so he knew all of my concerns. He opened the needles in front of me, used new hoses, and kept everything as clean as possible. After he was done the first, and all subsequent tattoos he destroyed all used needles in front of me.
I've never had any problems with any of my tattoos, before or after. The trouble is, once you get one you want another.
My fourth tattoo is now posted. I think it shows my sense of humor.
My doc would take my liver back i think. He didn't even want me to gargle mouth wash after my liver transplant.

I love that guy though... Doctor Imagawa @ UCI's the man!
the alcohol in the mouth wash. (.000001% I think.)
Nelson, sounds like you have a pretty strict doctor there. My docs want me to enjoy and live a normal life. They do not encourage tatoos but I would not get scolded or lectured if I got one.
I think he's concerned about possible transmission of hepatitis through the hoses and needles used for tattooing.

recently, i spoke to the guy that did my tattoos before tx and asked him if he had ever worked on people who've had tx. and what his procedures would be. interesting enough he was very knowledgeable on what to do with an immune deficient and asked me direct questions regrading certain meds i may be on to how my body heals now (since i was younger when i got my tattoos). from my observation (and past experience) i noticed he kept his work station clean and sterile as well as his equipment.

one of my tx doc is conservative and gave me an absolute "no" but another of my tx docs, who's been working all over the world and recently came onto the cedars team told me that as long as i took the necessary precautions...go for's my life.
i have three tattoo's
that i got after my transplant
talked with the artist ahead of time
i felt ok about things
i have three great looking tattoos!
I don't have any tatts but I recently saw on the internet that some ppl have gotten a tattoo in place of wearing a medic-alert necklace or bracelet.
I've also heard of people getting a medic alert tattoo but, have not seen one yet. I attended the Transplant Games with Team Iowa; one of our members got the Team Iowa 'Little Green Man' on his arm.
Before I left for the games I went in for my fourth tattoo, its the recycle symbol with the words Contains Recycled Organs over it. I showed my new tattoo to a few people at the games including some transplant coordinators from Florida.



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