Tattoo Removal (Laser Tattoo Removal)
The plastic surgery
procedure for tattoo removal used to be a painful and often scarring process. However; with the advent of Q-switched lasers and their recent rise to mainstream market accessibility, tattoo removal is now a painless and often quite effective process.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal uses Q-switch lasers to react with the ink in the existing tattoo causing it to break down inside the skin. The ink is then absorbed through the body and over time the tattoo will disappear. Since different tattoo pigments require specific light absorption spectra, a specific Q-switch laser will be used to remove each variation of tattoo pigment prompting the use of more than one laser. Darker pigments such as black are the easiest to be erased via the laser tattoo removal method. While the pain and scarring are at a minimum, the downside to laser tattoo removal is that is requires several visits to the doctor in order to complete the process.
Manual Tattoo Removal
Manual tattoo removal or the machine tattoo removal is rarely performed due to the innovations in non evasive laser techniques. When performing manual tattoo removal, a special type of gel is tattooed on top of the existing tattoo. The current tattoo pigment is absorbed by the gel and eventually migrates back to the top of the skin where it is easily removed. This technique is effective for tattoo removal of all pigments and takes substantially less visits to the doctor to have the tattoo removed. However, scarring is quite common in this technique which has led to its unpopularity.
Length of Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure and Required Treatments
The length of a laser tattoo removal treatment is around 15-45 minutes depending on the size of the tattoo. The patient can expect to revisit the doctor an average of 8-12 times with 2 months of time between each visit before the tattoo removal process is finished.
Recovering from Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal is a relatively mild procedure. After the procedure the patient will experience mild discomfort to the area of the skin where the procedure took place. The doctor will usually recommend certain creams which are safe to apply to the skin in order to sooth the pain.
Risks of Tattoo Removal
Although the risks of laser tattoo removal are usually quite rare when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon
, the main side effects patients have experienced as a result of the procedure are a change in skin pigmentation and infection. Manual tattoo removal has resulted in scarring quite frequently and we do not recommend this method if at all possible.
Cost of Tattoo Removal
The cost of tattoo removal as with all types of procedures will vary from patient to patient. Typically though, each patient will pay around $100 per session costing around $800-$1200 per tattoo removal. This cost is for an average size tattoo and the price may fluctuate for smaller and larger than average tattoos.
How to Get Your Tattoo Removed
Visit our plastic surgery directory
for a list of 5 Star Surgeon Network Approved™
surgeons in your area who can help you to remove your tattoo.