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Tattoo Removal

Have you ever wanted to “rethink your ink”? – if so, you’re not alone. While 20% of Americans have at least one tattoo sometimes circumstances change and tattoo regret can occur. Fortunately there has been a recent breakthrough in laser technology that can transform that unwanted permanent tattoo into a temporary decoration.

With picosecond laser technology, multi-color tattoos and some that required many appointments can now be lightened or even removed completely in much less time. Lower energies can be used and the result is faster and more effective clinical results with less risk of injury to the skin.

The Aesthetic Center of Connecticut is pleased to offer the most advanced tattoo removal technology with the first PicoWay® laser system in Connecticut. Most tattoos still require several appointments for optimal resolution or lightening but the results are better than ever with minimal disruption of your busy schedule – it’s truly revolutionary in tattoo removal!

What are Picosecond lasers?

Picosecond lasers are devices that operate in the picosecond domain. In other words they deliver their energy in multiples of one-trillionth of a second. This allows the laser pulses to break the tattoo pigment into small fragments that the body can more easily eliminate. When compared to traditional Q-switched lasers, lower energies can be used to yield faster, better results with less risk of thermal injury to the skin.

What is PicoWay®?

PicoWay® is a new 3 wavelength picosecond laser system from Syneron-Candela®, the most trusted name in aesthetic lasers. By utilizing multiple wavelengths all tattoo colors and types can be treated. Even some darker skin types, amateur tattoos and recalcitrant tattoos can be treated.

How does PicoWay® work?

PicoWay’s unique mode of action is based, in part, upon the principle of laser induced optical breakdown (LIOB) where ultra-short bursts of energy are delivered to the tissue and tattoo pigment. These bursts of energy create a photoacoustic impact that break up the pigment into smaller particles that the body can more easily eliminate.

Candidates for laser tattoo removal

Patients considering picosecond laser tattoo treatment:

  • Should be in good general health without poorly controlled medical illnesses.
  • Should not be hypersensitive to light or have a seizure disorder triggered by light.
  • Should not have an active localized or systemic infection or an open wound in the area being treated.
  • Should not have used oral isotretinoin (Accutane®) within 12 months of treatment or plan on using isotretinoin during the course of treatment.
  • Should not have a history of healing problems, immunosuppression or hypertrophic/keloid scarring.
  • Should not be tan (including use of tanning creams, lotions and sprays) prior to treatment.

My tattoo removal consultation

Prior to beginning laser tattoo treatment Dr. O’Connell will review your medical and surgical histories including allergies and medication use. Histories of prior treatments, anticoagulant use and healing problems are especially important. The tattoo(s) you wish treated will be closely examined, usually under magnification. The process of laser tattoo treatment will be reviewed with you along with potential alternative treatments, risks and potential side effects. All your questions will be answered prior to starting treatment.

What are the risks of laser tattoo removal?

All medical and surgical procedures carry risk of side effects and adverse events. At the Aesthetic Center, these will be reviewed with you in detail along with possible alternative treatments prior to beginning treatment.

Anticipated adverse effects of laser tattoo removal include:

  • Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation
  • Temporary redness, blistering, crusting and scabbing of the skin
  • Scarring including hypertrophic or atrophic scarring
  • Infection
  • Tattoos that contain titanium or zinc pigments may darken with laser treatment
  • Incomplete elimination of the tattoo with a ghost image remaining

Tattoo Removal FAQs

  • What tattoo colors can PicoWay® treat?

    The Candela Picoway® Laser is indicated for the following ink colors at the following wavelengths:

    • 532 nm
      Removal of tattoos with red, yellow and orange for Fitzpatrick skin types I-III.
    • 795 nm
      Removal of tattoos with blue and green pigment. Picoway® is the world’s only 785 nm picosecond – domain laser.
    • 1064 nm
      Removal of tattoos with black, brown, green, blue and purple ink in Fitzpatrick skin types I-VI.

  • How many sessions are required for tattoo removal with PicoWay®?

    While several sessions are usually required for optimal treatment the exact number will depend upon the tattoo. The size of the tattoo as well as the concentration and colors of tattoo pigment influence the number of sessions required for lightening. Tattoos with greater pigment density and with lighter colors are in general more difficult to treat.

  • What is the cost of PicoWay® tattoo removal?

    Depending upon the size of the design, pricing will run between $300-550 per session.

  • Is the R20 Method Used?

    The R20 method is an innovative and advanced technique of laser tattoo removal where multiple laser treatments are performed on the same day, spaced 20 minutes apart. While the R20 protocol is likely more effective, it also carries more risk and certain precautions should be observed. At the Aesthetic Center we utilize a modified R20 method specifically designed for the picosecond domain and our results reflect the increased effectiveness of this technique.