Getting a tattoo prior to surgery is not recommended because bacteria in the area of the tattoo increases the likelihood of complications following an operation, according to Dr. Donald Shenenberger of HealthTap. A tattoo should be allowed to heal completely before any surgery is scheduled.
People should be as physically and mentally healthy as possible before they get tattoos, notes Above the Pearl Tattoo. In addition to people who are pre-surgery, individuals who are post-surgery, ill or under a great deal of stress should consider waiting until they are in a better state to get a tattoo. Clients with conditions that compromise their immune systems, such as HIV or diabetes, usually require more time to heal from a tattoo. Some tattoo artists may require an authorization notice from a doctor before working with such clients.