Cutera’s Enlighten arrives in Canadian clinics soon.

15 08 05 casestudy 0

In the past, getting rid of an unwanted tattoo meant pain, scarring, countless visits and deep pockets. Luckily, you are now able to not only get rid of old body art in a quick and efficient manner but also choose from various options for your individual case. Currently waiting for Health Canada approval, Cutera’s Enlighten laser system will soon be an option for you. Enlighten is designed to reach greater depths and speeds to remove unwanted tattoos while remaining safe for all skin types and pigments. With the world’s first dual wavelength and pulse duration system, even the most stubborn ink can be removed in half a dozen treatments, with a 90-day healing period between visits. The picosecond laser technology offered by Enlighten delivers the highest pulse energies in its class, in addition to adjustable spot-size selection resulting in fewer visits than older tattoo removal technologies.

Tattoos can be a meaningful and imaginative way to express your creativity, but unfortunately your tastes may change throughout the years. Not only can you no longer care for the design you chose during your first year of college but age, skin elasticity and pregnancy can stretch your body art beyond recognition. Thankfully, there’s a remedy to remove and erase that awkward tattoo and plenty others in the works!

Name: Britt
Procedure: PicoSure for tattoo removal
Performed by: Dr. Sean Rice
15 08 05 casestudy 1
Elevate: What made you decide to get tattoo-removal treatments?
Britt: I have been extremely self-conscious for many years having Mickey Mouse on my thigh.
Elevate: Did you have any reservations about the procedure before visiting Dr. Rice?
Britt: Yes and no. I have been waiting for technology to improve as I had heard the removal of tattoos could be extremely painful and leave a scar. I heard of the new procedure at Dr. Rice’s office and thought it was worth investigating.

Elevate:  What did you experience during your procedure?

Britt: I was amazed at how quick the procedure was and how it wasn’t very painful at all.

Elevate:  What was your recovery like?

Britt: I had my treatments during lunch and returned to work right after. The area treated was a bit sensitive for a few hours, but nothing major.

Elevate: How did you feel about the results of the procedure?

Britt: Absolutely, positively amazed!

Elevate:  What advice do you have for people who are thinking about getting a tattoo removed?

Britt: Don’t hesitate: The procedure is fast, with no downtime, and the results are immediate. I am so pleased that I am comfortable in a bathing suit again and don’t always have to wear a cover-up when I’m on vacation!

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Sean Rice, MSc, MD, FRCSC,
Rice Cosmetic Surgery,

Elevate: Why was Britt a good candidate for the procedure?

Dr. Rice: The patient had good skin quality and colour. We test spots on people with darker skin tones to ensure that they are suitable candidates as they can react to the laser. The tattoo was a few years old, which gives time for the ink to settle. For tattoo removal, you need to wait a minimum of three months after the application of the tattoo before it can be removed.

Elevate:  What can patients expect during the procedure?

Dr. Rice: Britt had read on the Internet that laser tattoo removal can be painful and was pleasantly surprised that the discomfort during the procedure was not as bad as expected and was happy that the length of treatments was far less than expected. The amount of treatments depends on the colours and technique used for the tattoo. It takes half the time to remove a tattoo with PicoSure than with traditional methods. Most tattoos that have never been treated need a minimum of four treatments with PicoSure that are eight weeks apart.

Elevate: What were Britt’s biggest concerns?

Dr. Rice: The patient’s biggest concerns were pain, number of treatments and cost.

Elevate: Was Britt happy with her results?

Dr. Rice: Britt is very happy with the results so far. We were able to get a significant clearance of the tattoo in just three treatments.

Elevate:  What are some misconceptions about tattoo removal that keep patients away from the treatment?

Dr. Rice: The biggest misconceptions I have found are that the treatment is more uncomfortable than the actual application of the tattoo. We have had numerous patients that have had tattoos removed with the older technology and everyone comments how significantly less uncomfortable the new PicoSure technology is and how much quicker and effective PicoSure is compared to the other technology they have used in the past.

Elevate: What makes PicoSure different from other tattoo removal procedures?

Dr. Rice: What separates PicoSure from older technology is the speed at which the laser releases the energy to remove the tattoo. Older technology works in nanoseconds, or the machine releases its energy every billionth of a second. This is a very short time period but still enough time to generate heat, which leads to pain and potential scarring. This also limits the removal of tattoos to lighter skin tones. PicoSure releases energy in a trillionth of a second, or 100 times faster—this is similar to sending a shock wave into the skin. There is less heat generated, so the treatment is significantly more comfortable. We can perform the procedure on a greater variety of skin tones, and the greater energy source breaks up the tattoo into smaller particles than older technology did, allowing for fewer treatments.

Elevate:  What advice can you give to patients unsure about getting PicoSure?

Dr. Rice: Always do research before getting your tattoo removed. Ask if they have ever had any complications and if they can treat those complications if they arise. Pain is always the biggest concern for people. With PicoSure, patients have had significantly less discomfort than with previous technology. Because Rice Cosmetic Surgery is a medical facility where major operations can be performed, we have the ability to offer light sedation to patients undergoing large tattoo removal.