Laser Tattoo Removal
Many people have second thoughts about their tattoos. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with your decision forever. Highly precise lasers can lighten or remove your tattoo by focusing or pulsing light on the ink particles, which then convert the energy to heat and break up into tiny pieces that are absorbed harmlessly by the body. All this can be accomplished without damaging the surrounding tissue. Results can generally be seen within a few weeks, although larger and darker tattoos may require more treatments than smaller, lighter ones. Occasionally treated skin will look whiter (paler) than the skin around it, but this is usually temporary and fades in the months following treatment.
How Should I Prepare For My First Laser Tattoo Removal Session?
A few hours before the laser tattoo removal procedure begins, it is recommended that acetaminophen be taken to help minimize discomfort.
What Can I Expect From The Procedure?
Just before the procedure begins, the patient is given a shield to protect his or her eyes from the laser. A topical anesthetic is applied to the skin; in some instances, a cooling system is used before, during and after the procedure to help with discomfort. Dr. Pedy Ganchi then tests the skin's response to the laser to determine the most effective approach, and intense nanosecond pulses are sent from the Q-switched laser to the skin. Each laser tattoo removal session lasts only a few minutes and, at the end of each session, the tattoo is iced for about 30 minutes. A topical antibiotic and a bandage are then applied. Patients are advised to keep the skin around the tattooed area dry, and to treat it as if it were sunburned.
What Are The Potential Risks Of Laser Tattoo Removal?
Although they rarely occur, there are certain side effects associated with laser tattoo removal. They include hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, infection and permanent scarring.
When Can I Expect To See Results?
Depending on the complexity of the tattoo, removal results vary. Simple tattoos may be eliminated within four treatment sessions, while more complicated tattoos might require ten or more.