You’re quite correct in that little information is available concerning Tattoos and the small risk when using Monopolar Electrosurgery.
Perhaps this has become more of an issue of late, due to the growing uptake of Tattoos in general.
All the general rules should apply when placing a Patient Plate Electrode.
1. Over a well vascularised site.
2. Free from hair.
3. Free from bony prominences.
4. Free from scar tissue.
5. Never over implanted metal, e.g. Hip Implants.
6. Place as close as possible to Surgical site.
7. Be aware of alarm function.
8. Avoid Tattoos *.
9. Never reuse a Patient Plate Electrode
10. Special consideration should be given to infants and pre term babies.
* Tattoos use an indelible ink which may contain metallic particles. This could potentially give rise to superficial heating as the HF current makes its way to the Patient Plate Electrode. It would be rare not to find an alternative site. In general the sites are Upper Arm, Left / Right and Upper Thigh Left / Right.
I hope this information will assist you. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss further.
Electro Surgery Consultant