You can get a tattoo for many reasons: to commemorate loved ones, to impress friends, to express yourself. However, sometimes life circumstances change and the tattoo that was a great idea 10 years ago suddenly loses its charm. If you're beginning to feel like a tattoo has outstayed its welcome it might be time for a laser tattoo removal.
Here's what you can expect from the process from start to finish:
Removal Will Take Several Sessions
Process really is the key word here. Tattoos were meant to have permanence, so while modern technology allows us to remove them effectively it still takes some time. Exactly how many sessions you will need depends on several factors including:
To get an accurate picture of how many sessions you will need it's best to talk with your surgeon, as there are many factors at play.
You will also need to allow time for recovery between each session—typically around 6 weeks. Laser tattoo removal is a safe procedure when performed correctly and the pain is no greater than what you experienced getting the tattoo, but the lasers can be hard on your skin. Trying to remove a tattoo all at once increases the risk of permanent damage or infection.
What To Expect During The Procedure
The procedure itself is unassuming. Short laser pulses will send light energy into your skin, breaking down the ink particles of the tattoo. As mentioned before, there is some pain involved. Typically, this pain is no greater than the pain you experienced when getting the tattoo, and sometimes it's even less painful. Your surgeon may apply a skin numbing agent to the area, reducing some of the discomfort, but there's no way to avoid pain entirely. After each procedure, your tattoo will be noticeably faded, so even though it will take many sessions you are able to see the progress each and every time you come in.
Recovering From The Procedure
You will likely experience some mild side effects from each session including:
These side effects are temporary, they should subside within a week. Aside from that, the typical advice for recovery applies here. Keep the area dry, avoid the sun as much as possible, don't scratch your skin, and get plenty of rest. After a few weeks, you should be fully recovered and ready for your next session.
The End Results
While laser tattoo removal is absolutely effective at removing tattoos, it's important to be realistic about the results. Many patients wish to have their tattoo removed before a major event, such as a wedding or a family reunion, and are disappointed to find out that the entire process can take months and the tattoo may not fully fade for up to a year. Unfortunately, there is no safe shortcut to tattoo removal. Laser tattoo removal takes time, but it is the safest and most effective method available.
Are you looking for an experienced cosmetic surgeon to perform your laser tattoo removal? Dr. DeMercurio has over 9 years of experience in the field and his clients hold him in very high regard. Please, contact us at The Florida Center for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery today for more information on laser tattoo removal.