Lubbock Plastic Surgery Institute

Dr. Robert Schmid & Dr. R. Clark Mooty

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Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser Tattoo Removal - Lubbock, TX

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Overview

While a tattoo can be a wonderful, permanent memory, people now have the option to remove what they no longer want. Laser tattoo removal uses energy that is harmless to the skin, but breaks up tattoo pigments, including red, blue, and black, until the pigment is broken into smaller particles the body can naturally process out of the skin. Board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Schmid and Dr. Mooty of The Lubbock Plastic Surgery Institute have helped many patients from the West Texas and East New Mexico areas who decided they no longer wanted their body art. Most patients will need several sessions to get their best results and while tattoos will be much less visible, it is not always possible to completely erase all tattoo inks. Dr. Schmid and Dr. Mooty will discuss realistic expectations and how many sessions they recommend during the initial consultation.  For some patients, surgical excision can be considered for smaller tattoos, though it can be used on larger ones. This tattoo removal process involves cutting the tattooed skin out and then stitching the gap closed. For larger tattoos, it will not work to simply stitch the skin closed so a skin graft from another part of the body (typically the inner thigh or underarms) is often used to cover the open section of skin. Following surgery, the patient will have a small (and constantly fading) scar but the unwanted tattoo will be gone forever.

What to Expect

To begin the removal process, the tattoo is cleaned. Emitting laser or pulsed light, the laser hand piece glides over the surface of the tattoo. The size and color of the tattoo determine the length of treatment time. A tattoo the size of a quarter would take approximately 3-5 minutes to treat. Some patients request a topical anesthetic cream to minimize the stinging effect of the laser. Many patients tolerate treatment without topical anesthetic, and report the treatment as feeling similar to light rubber band snaps. An ointment is applied following treatment to keep the area moist, and then it is covered with a protective dressing.

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Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs

Any Side Effects?

Some patients experienced redness, swelling, tenderness, crusting, sunburn sensation, or itching immediately following treatment. The plastic surgeon will discuss the treatment plan, and explain what can be expected from your treatment. 

Why so Many Sessions?

Size, color, location and the age of the tattoo determine the number of treatments necessary to effectively remove the tattoo. During the consultation, the treatment regimen will be reviewed and any questions regarding the number of estimated sessions will be provided at that time.

When Will I See Results?

The results and appearance of the tattoo vary from patient to patient. After each treatment session patients will see the tattoo become lighter. Due to the various types of inks used in tattooing, the results and the number of treatments may vary. Typically, multiple treatments (anywhere from 2 to15) will be required and are scheduled 4 to 7 weeks apart. 

Other Options?

While laser tattoo removal is the safest and quickest option to keep patients’ skin intact, there are other treatment options. Patients can also choose surgical excision, chemical peels and traditional dermabrasion. These treatment options are invasive treatment methods that often result in scarring.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.