There are lots of reasons that people get tattoos and a lot more reasons why they want them removed. Maybe your lifestyle has changed or your tattoo just doesn't look as good as it once did due to aging and environmental exposure. Modern laser tattoo removal makes it possible to remove the permanent ink from your skin and give you a clean slate. At La Jolla Plastic Surgery in San Diego, triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo uses the Lumenis M22 with Q-switched Nd:YAG handpiece for fast, effective laser tattoo removal treatments. The Lumenis M22 is designed to be effective on both light and dark inks on all skin colors. Laser tattoo removal, also known as body art removal, is a nonsurgical procedure that requires no incisions and can typically be done in Dr. Chaffoo's office with local anesthesia. So if you've changed your mind about your lower back tattoo or the name of an ex you had tattooed on your arm, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chaffoo at La Jolla Plastic Surgery to learn more about laser tattoo removal and how it can help you.
"I truly had the best experience with La Jolla Skin! I was referred here by a friend who received micro needling and raved about how amazing her skin looked and felt after. This friend of mine recently moved to La Jolla from Beverly Hills and is definitely picky when it comes to all things beauty, so I completely trusted her recommendation. I had been wanting to do something more than just your standard facial to help the texture and appearance of my skin... acne scarring, pigmentation from the sun, large pores. I called to schedule my appointment and spoke with Jennifer who was SO sweet and helpful. When I went in for my appointment I have to admit I was a little nervous, but after consulting with Tracy I felt much more at ease. Nancy was the RN that preformed the micro needling and she too was amazing! She calmed my nerves and was just so so great. After having numbing cream on 30 mins prior to the micro needling I literally felt no pain or discomfort during the service. The machine is loud which sounds scary, but honestly it's nothing. My experience here was so wonderful and I look forward to continuing treatments with them. Highly recommend!!"- S.B. / Yelp / Sep 26, 2016
"Dr. Chaffoo is a great surgeon and is kind, gentle, experienced and has a great bedside manner. His staff (Nancy and Tracy) are equally as attentive and thorough. I felt safe and confident. I had my breast implants removed and a lift and a fat transfer to balance them. He did a great job. I am very happy with the results. I would recommend him to anyone."- S.E. / Yelp / Jul 25, 2017
"I just love coming here! Everyone that works here is not only extremely talented, but also very kind and welcoming. I've had microneedling, cool sculpting, vbeam, and a hydrafacial....I'm beyond happy with the results from each of these procedures! This whole team really takes time to listen to all of your questions and concerns, and patiently responds to each and every one. I've never felt like I was left feeling confused about anything, or that I had wasted my money on a service. I'm a client for life! Thank you all for being so awesome, I'd give you 6 stars if I could!"- N.R. / Yelp / Jul 17, 2017
"Very Natural Breast Augmentation, Wonderful Experience - Dr. Chaffoo is the utmost professional. I had a great experience with him from the start to finish of my surgery process, and continue to have a good experience. He is very attentive and caring, and I ended up with fabulous results from my surgery. I also appreciate that Dr. Chaffoo has me come in once per year for a check up, which gives me added peace of mind."- K. / RealSelf / Jul 11, 2017
"Great new experience - I went to La Jolla Plastic Surgery for Coolsculpting. It was a new experience for me but Dr. Chaffoo and his assistant Robert walked me through it and made sure I was comfortable through it all. I have already recommended them to several friends and I'm sure I'll be back soon. Thanks!"- S. / RealSelf / Jun 22, 2017
Before the Procedure
Before you schedule your first session of laser tattoo removal, Dr. Chaffoo will perform a complimentary consultation to learn more about you and your needs. Dr. Chaffoo will examine the tattoo(s) you want removed and ask about your medical history to avoid complications. If you decide to schedule your laser tattoo removal session, Dr. Chaffoo will give you instructions on how to prepare for your appointment, what to expect during the treatment, and what you should do to care for yourself after your procedure. Please feel free to ask any questions during this time so you will feel confident when you have your treatment.
Laser tattoo removal is performed in the minor procedures room of La Jolla Plastic Surgery as an outpatient treatment. You will have a local anesthetic in the treated area to make your procedure more comfortable. Eye shields are also used to protect your eyes from the laser. Most patients find that having their tattoo removed is about the same level of pain as when they got their tattoo, if not less. The laser releases a carefully controlled amount of energy that evenly removes ink without creating "hot-spots" or unpleasant side effects. The length of the procedure will depend on the size and location of your tattoo as well as the ink pigments that were used. Most patients will need a series of treatments to remove most or all of their tattoo.
After a laser tattoo removal treatment, you may feel some mild discomfort or pain for up to 2 days after your appointment. This can usually be treated with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications. The treated area will be red and swollen for a few days before a crust forms over the tattoo. This crust should fall off in about 2 weeks and you will be able to see the results of your first treatment.
While you will see some results after your first session, you may need 2 – 12 treatments to fully remove your tattoo ink. And it may take up to 8 weeks after your last treatment to see your final results as your tattoo fades and your skin heals. Each patient and every tattoo is different, so talk to Dr. Chaffoo about what to expect and realistic goals for your treatment.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- Post-op Follow-up
- 8 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs
Laser tattoo removal at La Jolla Plastic Surgery in San Diego, CA can help you if you have:
- An unwanted tattoo
- Tried other methods of tattoo removal without success
- Trouble concealing your tattoo with makeup or clothing
- A tattoo that has faded with age
Laser tattoo removal is usually performed on its own, but if you want to make the most of your visits to La Jolla Plastic Surgery, talk to Dr. Chaffoo about other available treatments. Other laser treatments that can improve your appearance include skin resurfacing, hair removal, vein removal, and skin tightening. During your consultation, tell Dr. Chaffoo about all your cosmetic goals so he can create your best treatment plan.
Some rare side effects after laser tattoo removal include scarring, a change in skin pigmentation or texture, or changes in sensation. Most of the side effects are temporary and can be avoided by following all of Dr. Chaffoo's instructions.