Tattoos have always been engrained as a part of Americana; they have been and continue to be popular amongst all demographics. However, like anything permanent, some people have regrets about their decisions. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 have a tattoo. It is further reported that 16 percent of these individuals have what we like to call “tattoo remorse.” Thankfully, there have been incredible advances made in tattoo removal. At Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates, PLLC, we are pleased to provide safe, effective laser tattoo removal in the Missoula, Montana area. If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss removing your tattoo, please contact Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates, PLLC.
Until recently, the procedure for tattoo removal involved excision, or cutting out of the tattoo, followed by sutures to close the incision, and possibly skin grafting. This procedure obviously left scarring that could be just as prominent and significant as the tattoo, with the risk of infection and keloid (raised and discolored) scarring. Q-switched lasers have revolutionized tattoo removal. Q-switched lasers like the MedLite® C6 utilize light energy that is absorbed into the ink of the tattoo to break the ink into small particles that can be easily removed by the body via its natural filtering processes. Many tattoos, including professional, surgical, amateur, and traumatic injury, can be removed with this new system. As more patients desire to have tattoos removed, the need for improved technology will only increase, which is why Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates, PLLC, is pleased to offer the MedLite® C6 laser for superior results in removing even the most challenging tattoos with multiple colors efficiently and effectively. This exciting laser therapy for tattoo removal comes with a minimal risk for scarring, pigment changes, or discomfort.
We combine the MedLite® C6 laser with PicoSure™ treatments for powerful yet minimally invasive tattoo removal. PicoSure™ is a type of picosecond laser that can target tattoo ink with a shorter beam of light than traditional nanosecond lasers. In contrast to lasers that use thermal energy to destroy the ink particles by heating them, PicoSure™ creates a shock wave that actually shatters the particles. Because they are much smaller, the particles require fewer treatments to remove. Even green and blue ink colors, which are known to be very stubborn, require just one to three treatments with PicoSure™ technology.
At Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates, PLLC, we have upgraded our comprehensive laser center with technology designed to target tattoo ink while keeping the healthy skin cells intact. This process reduces the formation of scar tissue. Older tattoos commonly fade in color because of the body's natural attempt to break down the foreign ink, and laser tattoo removal will accelerate this process considerably, making the small ink particles easier for the body to absorb. Treatment protocols range in the number of sessions, according to the size and color variety in the tattoo, skin type of the patient, and type of ink. Generally, these tattoo removal protocols range from six to eight treatments, in intervals of four to six weeks. The newest lasers reduce treatment time.
While tattoos continue to gain popularity, the desirability of an individual's tattoo may fade. Thankfully, tattoo removal provides a solution to resolve the seemingly permanent state of “tattoo remorse.” If you are interested in laser tattoo removal, please contact our Missoula office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephen Hardy.