Tattoo Removal

What treatments are available ?

For the most part, the preferred treatment for tattoo removal is laser surgery. In some instances excisions can be done.

Does laser treatment work for everyone ?

In most cases, laser tattoo removal works. However, in some individuals, it may be impossible to remove all the tattoo ink. Sometimes the lighter tattoo colors might turn black immediately following laser treatment. If this happens, the black can usually be removed by further laser surgery. The physician may opt to do a test dose on a tiny area to see if the treatments will be of benefit.

How many treatments are necessary ?

Factors such as the size of the tattoo, and its color, can affect the number of treatments necessary. No one laser can remove all colors. Because a tattoo may have many colors, various lasers may be necessary. Some colors are more difficult to remove than others. An estimated number of treatments can only be determined by the consulting a physician after performing the first treatment. 

Does treatment hurt ?

As with any laser treatment, some discomfort is associated with laser tattoo removal. your own individual skin sensitivity and pain threshold will determine the level of your discomfort. Any office that performs laser skin surgery is well equipped with various types of anesthesia to alleviate patient discomfort. Such anesthesia might include ELA-Max or EMLA topical anesthesia, or infiltration with local anesthetic by injection. M ost patients do not require any anesthesia.

What is the healing time ? What will I look like immediately after treatment ?

The skin turns white immediately after treatment. However, this response disappears after 10 to 15 minutes. Redness, superficial bleeding, and swelling are commonly seen after laser tattoo treatment. Some laser surgeons treat through a clear plastic dressing to prevent tissue splatter. This plastic also acts as a nice post-treatment dressing, and should be left in place for two to seven days unless an unfavorable reaction occurs. Generally,  within one week, the treated site is much improved and no longer requires a dressing.

What is the cost ?

The question of cost is dependent on many factors. These factors may include the size and color of the tattoo, the number of treatments necessary, and the in dividual fees each office charges. It's always best to ask this question when scheduling an appointment. A consultation is necessary for a cost estimate. The consultation fee is sometimes rolled into the cost of treatment if treatment is performed the same day.

Are consultations free ?

Different offices handle payment for consultations in different ways. It is best to ask when scheduling a consultation.

If I decide to have treatment, can the consultation fee go towards cost of my treatment ?

Again, each office operates in its own individual way. In some instances the consultation fee will go towards the first treatment. And in other cases the consultation fee is completely separate from the cost of treatment.

Will my insurance cover treatment ?

Most insurance companies will not pay for tattoo removal, since treatment is considered cosmetic. There are rare instances when tattoo removal might be considered medically necessary, such as an allergic reaction to the tattoo's ink, or permanent marks on the skin due to trauma. There are also various programs that provide tattoo removal for a reduced cost, or for free if the tattoo is gang-related.

Multiple treatments are required to remove tattoos. This figure indicates the result af ter two t reatments. The tattoo does not shrink; it just fades away.  This is an example of a multicolored tattoo. Sometimes these will require the use of more than one laser. 
 
There has been further improvement after four treatments, but there remains a significant amount of pigment.  Amateur tattoos tend to do better than professional tattoos.  The rate at which tattoos are lightened relates directly to the quantity of ink present in the tattoo. 

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