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    Tattoo on my lower calf/ankle after THR
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    vikesfan11 posted:
    I had a tattoo done (small, about 2 x 2 inches) two days ago. I also have a total hip replacement on the left which is over 5 years old due to congenital hip dysplasia as a child. I am 45 years old. Well, I got to thinking - of course - after the tattoo was done if this was safe or if there is any risk of infection? This is my first tat and I do love it and it shows no sign of infection, plus I went to a professional and very clean shop to have it done. I have just recently moved across the country so I don't yet have a new orthopedic surgeon established . . . does anyone have any thoughts? I feel sort of stupid for asking, but I am a worry wart!!
    Reply
     
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    _swank_ responded:
    Yes, there is always a risk of infection when getting a tattoo.
     
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    vikesfan11 replied to _swank_'s response:
    So I'm thinking of going to the doctor to get on prophylactic antiobiotics . . . but at the same time, I don't know. I don't really know if they would even give me antibiotics considering the tattoo is healing wonderfully, absolutely no redness and no swelling or anything. (I'm a relatively quick healer.) Plus, I don't have a regular orthopod yet in my new community so that means I would have to go to urgent care??
     
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    _swank_ replied to vikesfan11's response:
    Usually you want to do the anitbiotics ahead of time. At least that's the case with dental work and such. You might want to give the original doctor a call. Even if you live in a different state they can probably answer your question. My guess is it's too late now.
     
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    DUKE MEDICINE
    Michael P Bolognesi, MD responded:
    Your colleagues below are on the right track. Anything "invasive" can create a risk of infection and there are some procedures that we feel really strongly about as it pertains to prophylactic (given before the procedure) antibiotics. The example of dental procedures is a good one. I do not have a formal policy in my practice for tatoos but I am sure that if a tatoo site got infected it could theoretically "seed" the prosthesis. If the tattoo has healed and is free of infection then you are likely not at risk.


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