Frequently Asked Questions – Tattoo Removal (Laser Tattoo Removal) FAQs
How does a plastic surgeon perform tattoo removal?Tattoo removal is a plastic surgery procedure which is intended to remove an existing tattoo from the patient who is unhappy with the tattoo for a wide variety of reasons. Laser tattoo removal is the most common method and it is also the method we recommend. During laser tattoo removal the plastic surgeon will apply various specialized lasers called Q-switch lasers to areas of the tattoo. Each laser is designed to react to different color pigments in the tattoo. The laser will break down the pigment in the tattoo causing it to be absorbed by the skin.
During manual tattoo removal, a specialized gel will be tattooed over the existing tattoo. This gel will break down the pigment and cause it to migrate to the top of the skin where it easily removed. The manual method for tattoo removal has a reputation for causing scarring which is why the practice is rarely used today.
What is the cost of laser tattoo removal?The cost of tattoo removal will of course vary due to the size of the tattoo that is being removed. You should expect anywhere from 8-12 visits to the surgeon to remove a tattoo and the cost will average around $100 per visit for most doctors.
What is the difference between laser tattoo removal and manual tattoo removal?Laser tattoo removal breaks down the existing pigment in your tattoo using lasers whereas manual tattoo removal uses a specialized gel tattooed over the existing tattoo in order to break down the pigment.
How long does it take to remove a tattoo?Anywhere from 15-45 minutes per session depending on the size of the tattoo and anywhere from 8-12 sessions on average.
What are the risks involved with laser tattoo removal?In rare cases the patient reports a loss of pigment to their natural skin color. Sometimes the lasers will not only remove the tattoo pigment but also the pigment of the skin. Infection is also a risk but this is usually due to poor maintenance of the treated area on the patient’s part.
How do I get my tattoo removed?Search our plastic surgeon directory to find a tattoo removal specialist in your area.
For More Information see the General Information Page for Tattoo Removal