Laser tattoo removal is not something you should undertake lightly. You need to know exactly what you're getting into beforehand. To help you make an informed decision, here are answers to 5 of the most frequently asked questions about laser tattoo removal.
1. Does It Hurt?
This is probably the most common question we hear. Getting a tattoo isn't always pleasant, and many patients expect that removing it is even worse. Fortunately, these fears are unfounded. Every patient will react differently to the lasers, but at its worst laser removal is about as painful as it was to get the tattoo in the first place. The experience is often described as feeling like a rubber band snapping against the skin. So, it's still not pleasant but the pain is very manageable.
2. How Long Will It Take?
There's no exact answer to this question. How long it takes to remove your tattoo will depend on several factors including:
For a more in-depth look at how these factors impact laser tattoo removal, you can check out the Kirby-Desai scale.
A good rule of thumb is that it will take several sessions and multiple months even for smaller tattoos. For larger tattoos, the process can easily take over a year. The bottom line is that you shouldn't plan on walking in and walking out with no tattoo. For many patients, this is disappointing to hear, but as of now, laser removal is still the quickest method by far.
3. How Much Does It Cost?
Unfortunately, it's much more expensive to remove a tattoo than it is to get one. The exact cost will depend on many of the same factors we discussed above. The average cost ranges from $200 to $500 per session and your average tattoo can take up to 10 sessions to remove. This is no small cost, but if the tattoo is truly causing you distress then it is still a wise use of your money.
4. Will It Leave Scarring?
Most of the time, no. With that said, your tattoo may currently be hiding some scarring from the tattoo process itself and laser tattoo removal won't get rid of that. Your surgeon will be able to tell you whether there is currently any scarring associated with your tattoo. From there you just have to ask yourself: would I rather deal with a bit of scarring or a much more noticeable tattoo that I dislike? For most patients, this is an easy question to answer.
5. Can I Just Remove Part Of The Tattoo?
In most cases, plastic surgeons are happy to help with partial tattoo removal if they can. Whether it's feasible or not will depend on the size of the tattoo. You can also have the tattoo faded in anticipation of a cover-up. This can help make the cover-up more successful and bring down the cost a bit.
Whether you're looking for a full removal or a minor adjustment, you'll need someone with experience and skill to perform your laser tattoo removal. If you're currently dealing with unwanted tattoos, don't hesitate to contact us at The Florida Center for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery today. Dr. DeMercurio has many years of experience providing excellent care in the field of cosmetic surgery.