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If you have had an organ transplant then you may want to also become a member of these communities if they are applicable to your condition to share your experience:
Diabetes and Kidney Community
Kidney Disorders Community
WebMD Diabetes Community
WebMD Hepatitis Community
WebMD Heart Disease Community
pableezy posted:
Hi everybody! I am new to this board. I am really happy to have found an active transplant message board . I had a heart transplant 8 years ago at the age of 15 at Stanford. I am now 23 and have so far been almost 100% healthy!

I am wondering if there is anyone who has gotten a tattoo post-transplant. Now clearly, getting a tattoo is not the best idea for someone who is immunocompromised. I had never really wanted a tattoo enough to seriously look into it until fairly recently. However, at this point in my life, I am now seriously starting to consider it. I am on relatively little immunosuppression, being on only gengraf 25&50mg BID and rapamune 1mg daily, and haven't had any problem with skin infections. So I was wondering if anybody had any knowledge or experience with this topic. I am going to see the docs in january for my annual checkups and would like to be at least a little informed before talking with them (I am also fairly sure my docs dont know that much about tattooing in the first place). Thanks in advance for any input!

I just posted this 5 mins ago and it isn't showing up on the board so I'm posting it again. Sorry if it gets posted twice!
John-SKPT responded:
I haven't any personal experience with tattoos, but it's been debated in several forums over the years.

About all that I can tell you is that it is PROBABLY safe if, and it is a big 'IF', you can be sure that the person doing it uses carefully autoclaved, very sterile, equipment. There are still your own skin bacteria to deal with, but you've probably had a few nick and cuts over the years, and they haven't caused you a great deal of harm. And there is still the chance of getting some environmental contaminant or infectious organism in the broken skin.

So it's really up to you. Just be careful and choose a safe artist wisely.
abcat2000 responded:
One of the problems w/ tattoos to me is that if the same ink container (have no idea what that is actually called) is used for everyone - the tattooist may be using sterile equipment, but it's being used with possbly tainted ink. I think I heard this reported on a Dr. Oz show (on XM radio)

I am against them because I don't believe that transplant patients need to take unnecessary risks. We have to take pills & lab tests & be around people who dould potentially make us sick. I don't go to impoverished countries because I can't take the risk of having medical problems there. Why take an extra risk when we are so fortunate to have received these gifts?
jacky53 responded:
Any decent tattoo artist has disposable containers for each person receiving tats & any remaining ink is discarded. All instruments & needles should also be individually packaged and sterilized. Look for the brown strip on the sterile packaging & make sure there is an autoclave on the premises. If not ....find the door,& fast!
newlife99 responded:
Thanks so much for this post! I just asked my dr about a tat and she was okay as long as I found someone with a really sterile place and equipment. I already knew about the ink needing to be new for each person. I just really want a tatto to honor the life my doner. Her family provided for me and since they lost someone so special to them and it will soon be my 10th anniversary. Anyway, thanks!
Lucibelladonna responded:
I had a heart transplant at the age of 11, now I am 22 and have 10 tattoos. I always do my research and ask to examine the facilities before I agree to get tattooed. I look at their autoclave to see that it's working properly, and make sure they use new needles and new ink holders... and have never had any problems. It's very important to take care of the tattoos afterward, picking the scabs, and make sure you wash them at least 3 times a day with an antibacterial soap. The only thing doctors know about tattoos is that they are associated with a bad lifestyle that includes drugs and irresponsible behavior- which probably has as much to do with their reservations as the possibility of infection.
KELLEN12 responded:
Hi, I'm a 22 year old male, I had a heart transplant 5 years ago and have wanted to get a tattoo in honor of my donor. I had my transplant at the U of Minnesota and like any teaching hospital they are going to say no to transplants. I was looking for your input, Lucibelladonna, since you said you have had 10 tattoos. I would love to exchange emails.
An_224177 replied to KELLEN12's response:
Hi Kellen,

I had a heart transplant 3 years ago and also went to the U of M for treatment post transplant. Have you gotten a tattoo since? I want to get a tattoo to recognize my donor as well, just something small, but I feel like I need to do something.

Wolverinesnut34 responded:
I recieved a Transplant 8 years ago when i was 17 i'm 25 and i have 4 tattoos, back, ribs, 2 on my arm and i have had piercings,. The Doctor told me i shouldn't but she said if i was gonna do it, to treat it like i was going to a denist appt. I take 2 grams of Amoxacilin before i go to the denist and tattoo's. Just have to be extra precautions.
KaylaMarie9394 responded:
I would also love to know this question. I received a different type of transplant mine was at the age of 1 years old and i received a new liver. I'm almost 20 years old now and i wanted only one tattoo as a memorial to my father who passed away when i was 14. I am on the name brand prograf medicine 1.5 twice a day. The only things i've ever wanted were that tattoo and a belly button piercing,So it was great to see a message board with others who have had transplants also! i noticed most of you have had heart transplant and have had tattoos but is it different for someone who has had a liver transplant?
wolfdog81 replied to KaylaMarie9394's response:
I had a kidney transplant 2 yrs. ago and I got a tattoo in remembrance of my mother and its pretty big and I had no problems. I followed all the advice you have seen posted above and made sure to keep it super clean.
Cwbeebe89 replied to wolfdog81's response:
Man, this is awesome! I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for a long time. I want to get a tattoo of the molecular structure of my two main rejection medications, Prograf and Cellcept. It's good the hear that there's other transplant recipients, especially heart recipients out there, that are getting tattoos and nothing is going wrong.
keenie7 responded:

I have I was perfectly fine. I want another one, but I have a new doctor now and he won't let me. Which is stupid considering my former doctor was perfectly fine with it and he was a doctor a an even prestigious practice. He said as long as I ensured it was an uber clean shop it would be fine and it was.
lainsky replied to keenie7's response:
Thanks so much everyone for your input on this. I too want another tattoo in honor of my donor & my experience.
taylormarie213 responded:
Hi my name is Taylor. I had a double lung transplant when I was 10 weeks old. I am on a very minimal dose of prograf or some say glad or something like that which is an immune depressant. I'm 18 and I've always wanted like one or two small tattoos. Not like a sleeve or back detail. I asked my doctor and she said it was an absolute no. I was so depressed because that's just another thing that sets me apart from my friends and other people. Now my doctor in the past said I could not get my ears pierced but they didn't know what would happen since I'm the first person to get a double lung transplant in So. California. So I'm kinda like their guinea pig. I got my ears pierced [now I have 2 piercings in each ear(not cartilage)> and nothing happened. Sure it can become gross and sometimes infected but with thorough cleaning, it cleared up in no time. All I had to do, before the procedure, was take 4 big pills of antibiotics. I would love to chat with anyone on here and we should all help and support each other. My question is, could I prove my doctor wrong? Anyone who got a tattoo after their transplant have any problems health wise? If so, what happened? Thank you!

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