What to Expect During Tattoo Removal

Author: Dr. Bobby Buka

The first step in tattoo removal is evaluating your specific tattoo to determine the best course of laser treatment to remove it. Often, removal begins immediately following your initial consultation. The area is first cleansed and numbed using a topical cream or single injection. This makes the procedure completely painless.

During the tattoo removal process, you wear goggles to protect your eyes from the laser. The laser is applied to the entire area of the tattoo. The length of the procedure varies depending on the size and coloration of the tattoo. Some can be treated in a matter of just a few minutes while others take 30 minutes or longer (think Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!). Once the treatment has been completed, soothing ointment is then applied and the area is covered in a dressing to keep it clean.

Patients typically return 2-3 weeks after the initial visit for a second session. The exact number of sessions required to fully remove the tattoo varies from #3-10. When the latest method of tattoo removal is utilized, up to 3 tattoo laser treatments can be executed in a single visit. In this type of procedure, you wait a minimum of 20 minutes in between sessions. Whether sessions are performed all in the same day or over the course of several months, you are given aftercare instructions that must be followed in between sessions. Carefully following Dr. Buka’s orders ensures speedy healing with a reduced risk of complications.