John Chillingworth, of Bungay, Suffolk, was given the tattoo on his right calf by his girlfriend as a birthday present.
By the time he arrived home at about 3.30pm, he told his girlfriend, 22-year-old Amy Hahs, that the tattoo was stinging, the inquest in Lowestoft heard on Friday.
His leg was swollen and red within two days and a scab formed. Mr. Chillingworth had trouble sleeping because of the pain.
He visited his GP, who cleaned and dressed the wound and gave Mr. Chillingworth painkillers and antihistamines.
Yet 10 days after the tattoo session, Miss Hahs returned home from work to find Mr. Chillingworth lying slumped on the sitting room sofa. He was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived shortly afterwards.
A post mortem examination found that Mr. Chillingworth died due to a blood clot in one of his lungs. It had come from a deep vein thrombosis in his right calf.
Peter Dean, the Suffolk coroner, said it was not clear whether the DVT had been related to the tattoo, or whether it developed due to Mr. Chillingworth being inactive due to the pain.
Mr Dean, who said that the tattooist had followed all necessary hygiene procedures, recorded a narrative verdict of a pulmonary embolism following a tattooing.
Tattoo: The Deadly Killer