Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Tattoo's

Patient

Q: I have thoracic outlet syndrome and I have been wanting to get a tattoo for a very long time. My mother and I constantly fight over the issue and she refuses to let me because she feels it will make my condition worse. I have done all my research and nothing shows that it would cause any sort of problem. Will getting a tattoo with my condition worsen things?

Doctor

A:   Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition in which there is blockage of the thoracic outlet either due to trauma or a cervical rib and sometimes by incorrect posture  which thus leads to blockage and impingement of the neurovascular bundles in the upper thorax thus leading to symptoms like pain in the arms, tingling and also vascular compromise when the blood vessels are involved.
While tatooing per se would not lead to complications or exacebations of the symptoms, complications during tatooing like nerve injury/ vessel injury may lead to worsening of the symptoms you already are experincing.Howvever you have not mentioned about where you plan to get the tatoo but  I would advice you to avoid tatooing on the upper extremity.

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