What is Laser Tattoo Removal?

As technology advances..

a variety of safe, sophisticated and bloodless treatments are available for patients who are seeking to remove tattoos that they no longer desire.

Although tattoos are considered permanent due to deep penetration of the ink in the dermis layer of the skin , the laser is capable of breaking down the ink’s pigmentation embedded in the layer of the skin.

The procedure does not require any incisions but consist of a laser that is connected to a machine. The laser is placed over the skin and emits a pulsating beam of light that occurs every nano-millisecond.

One session of the procedure does not simultaneously remove the tattoo but several sessions must follow with breaks over a period of time. The breaks are required to allow for the skin to heal. Therefore, dedication and patience is essential in order to successfully remove the tattoo.

Nevertheless, scars may or may not be present after treatment. The results will vary from patient to patient.

Saline-filled implants

Most women receive saline-filled implants which consist of a silicone shell filled with sterile salt. This type of implant is generally less expensive.

Cohesive silicone gel-filled implants

Recently, new cohesive silicone gel implants have become available to Canadian plastic surgery patients. Silicone gel implants tend to feel more like real breast tissue than saline implants and do not ripple or fold as much as saline implants. The current cohesive gel is less likely to seep, run or shift unlike the older type of liquid silicone implants. The silicone implants have two popular subtypes which are the “Round implants” & the “Tear Drop anatomical implants”.

Silicone Gel implants

With advancement in technology daily, new implants are been still invented under the silicone gel implants. Dr. Hong’s expertise in breast augmentation surgeries is remarkable from performing hundreds of breast augmentation surgeries with great artistic skills. His professional & passionate skills can help you achieve your prospective breast augmentation goals. You need a highly skilled and efficient plastic surgeon to give you your desired rejuvenated figure and Dr. Colin Hong is one of the top plastic surgeons in Toronto.

What does the laser do?

The laser penetrates through the first layer of the skin (epidermis) and reaches the area of the dermis. When tattoos are applied onto the skin, the needle goes through the epidermis, melanin, then enters the dermis. The dermis is where the pigmentation of the ink is injected, thus giving tattoos a permanent-like effect. The laser is capable of reaching the same layer of the skin as the ink of the tattoo, therefore making it possible to remove the ink.

What happens to my skin during laser tattoo removal?

The technology of laser tattoo removal exists due to the discovery of selective photothermolysis.

Selective phototheromysis refers to using the heat produced by the wavelengths of the light to destroy the pigmentation of the ink of the tattoo. The heat is able to damage the target area while avoiding the skin that surrounds it. Therefore, removal of the tattoo is capable without destroying skin.

If the target area (tattoo) possesses colours like browns, yellow and pink, it will be harder for the removal of the tattoo since the target colours are similar to skin colours in wavelength. (colours are composed of wavelengths).

If the pigmentation of the skin and ink are farther away from each other on the wavelength spectrum, the laser is able to remove the target area with less difficulty.

This is why those with lighter skin with black ink tattoos are easiest to remove since black and light skin colours are farther away from each other on the wavelength spectrum. Therefore, it is much easier for the laser to differentiate between the two colours.

Dependent upon the patient’s circumstances,

the duration and number of the procedure(s) will vary according to:

1) Size of the tattoo

2) Location of the tattoo

3) Colour of the tattoo

4) Skin type

5) Application method of the tattoo

6) Age of the tattoo/patient

These factors will also account for the level of discomfort a patient may feel during their treatment.

What types of treatments are offered?

To meet different patient’s needs, a variety of treatments are available to choose from, such as, dermabrasion, camouflage, creams, and excision of tattoo. Nevertheless, the most effective method that removes tattoo and also significantly reduces the risk of damaging skin and excess scarring is laser. Since we live in a world filled with a diversity of skin types and tattoos designs, there is not one standard laser offered and used.

Q-Switched Lasers

The Q-switched lasers are one of the more popular lasers physicians choose to use. They come in three different types that differ and specialize according to the colour pigmentation that they treat. The nm in the name of the laser indicates the wavelength range it is most ideal for treating. More complex coloured tattoos have more wavelengths, therefore a combination of these lasers are needed to target the variety of wavelengths present in the coloured tattoo.

The Q-switched lasers can be accompanied with anesthetic (local injection of lidocaine or topical anesthesia cream) to decrease the level of pain the patient experiences.

Topical broad-spectrum antibacterial ointment is applied immediately following the procedure.

The different types of Q-switched laser are:

1) Q-switched ruby laser (694 nm):

2) Q-switched Nd: YAG laser (532 nm, 1064 nm)

3) Q-switched alexandrite laser (755 nm):

How much does treatment cost?

The cost of the overall treatment is dependent upon the number of sessions needed, which is dependent on the state of the tattoo and the age/health of the patient.

Multiple treatments are required and usually one treatment could range from $300 and up.

How long does a treatment take?

A session is dependent upon the size and complexity of the tattoo. The larger and more complex the tattoo is, the longer the time frame of one session will take.

Smaller tattoos usually take only a few minutes to complete one session.

The time of the breaks after each session ranges from 1-2 months and usually, 3-20 treatment sessions could be required for complete removal. Overall, the procedure could be quite lengthy.

What should I expect during the treatment?

The patient must wear protective eye shields at all times during the procedure. A test to see the skin’s reaction to the laser is done prior to treatment. Anesthetic is optional but can be given to the patient at the site of the procedure.

The treatment starts with the physician placing their hand against the patient’s skin while stimulating the laser light onto the target area. The physician guides the laser to areas where the tattoo resides. The patient will feel the pulsation of the beam during the procedure. The pain is described to be similar to a rubber band being snapped across the surface of the skin. After the session, another one will be schedule in 1-2 months.

Are there any side effects?

Infections and although rare, permanent scarring, excessive colour or fading of the skin may occur.

What should I expect after the treatment?

After treatment, the patient is given a pack of ice to place on the treated area, which will help reduce swelling caused by the laser. Topical antibiotic ointment is placed on the tattoo after half an hour then covered with sterile dressing.

Aftercare of the treatment:

The patient must treat the treated area as if they were treating a sunburn and must let the skin dry.

In the greater Toronto area, Dr. Hong is regarded as a highly accomplished Toronto nose surgeryear surgerybrow lift and facelift specialist. He is also instrumental in helping eyelid surgery Toronto patients attain their goal of a more youthful, dynamic facial profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing your desired implant for surgery depends on quite a number of multiple factors which include your native breast dimension (height and width) , projection, rib cage width, body anatomy, volume, the thickness of tissue, how you want the breast to look like after surgery. The most effective way of choosing implant size is to try out sizers from your surgeon while wearing a tight body fit.

In cases of implant weights, the bigger the implants the more they will likely weigh. The size of 100 cc silicone implant generally weighs 0.23 lbs while that of the saline implant with size 100 cc weighs 0.21 lbs. Going bigger in size, a 300 cc silicone implant weighs 0.69 pounds and a pair weighs 1.38 pounds. 300 cc saline implants weigh 0.63 lb and a pair weighs 1.26 lbs. In this case, implants weigh almost the same as the exact amount that an actual breast tissue would weigh. 

In most cases, the weight varies slightly depending on the manufacturers. There might be a slight weight variation from different manufacturers.

Whether or not a person performs a breast augmentation, the genetic makeup of the individual has a major role to play in the contribution of breast sag. Factors such as weight (increasing or decreasing), gravity, age, skin elasticity & ethnicity have a lot to do when it comes to breast augmentation sagging. In this case, use a very good supportive bra that will help you to reduce the effect of sagging.

The lifespan of breast implant is not actually guaranteed as it is not predictable when the implant lifecycle will eventually end. In which case, no matter how your counseling process has been with your surgeon before the operation, always bear in mind that you cannot have a breast implant that will last a lifetime. 

There is no set expiry date attached to breast implants because there has not been a reason to get them replaced unless there is a possible rupture or have other problems. Most times implants exceed more than 12 years and even last up to 30 years in some cases.  

There are quite a number of new implants that have been introduced for breast augmentation and are known as “jelly bean”, “gummy bear”, or “highly cohesive gel” implants that are also available for breast augmentation and they have a firmer feeling, but there are no effective long term results to indicate that they are much better or tend to last longer than the saline or silicone implants.  

Breast augmentation is normally performed in our Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. It also has certification by the College of Physicians and Surgeon OHP program.

Since the surgery is under general anesthesia, there is no pain during the procedure. 

The greatest period of discomfort for the patient is usually the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours after breast augmentation surgery. Afterward, pains will reduce and there will be no need for too much pain relievers as usual. We do a 24-hour recovery routine that most patients have a very little discomfort after 24 hours. In the case where breast implants are placed in the submuscular position, there will initially cause more discomfort than when it is placed in the subglandular pocket ( in front of the muscle).

In the case of breast augmentation, general anesthesia is commonly used. This will guarantee a painless procedure and also the surgeon can concentrate to deliver his best surgical result. 

You can see pre and post-operative result in our office.

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Our Testimonials

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C Wong

Dr. Hong and his staff are very efficient. Dr. Hong managed to diagnose my genetic disease that's been going on for years, and proposed a reasonable price given my situation. Thank you Dr. Hong. I greatly appreciated your help and will recommend your service to my friends and family