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Laser Tattoo Removal in Cape Girardeau, MO

Tattoos commemorate important experiences in our lives or pay homage to loved ones. Unfortunately, these personal symbols of expression may outlast our desire to have the tattoo. Heartland Plastic Surgery can help. We offer laser tattoo removal for men and women in Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Sikeston and surrounding areas of Missouri.

What is Laser Tattoo Removal?

There are three ways to address an unwanted tattoo. You can use makeup to camouflage the ink, have a tattoo artist cover the tattoo with a new design or remove the tattoo permanently with laser treatments. As tattoos have become a more mainstream practice, laser tattoo removal has also become more common. People choose to have their tattoos removed for many reasons, such as starting a career, changing personal style and even ending a relationship.

Heartland Plastic Surgery offers laser tattoo removal with the Enlighten™ system by Cutera®, a state of the art picosecond device, which means that your tattoo is removed in half the time compared to older systems.

Is Laser Tattoo Removal Right for Me?

Today’s laser systems that are used for tattoo removal can remove a wide range of pigments. Some tattoos cannot be removed completely with lasers, and we will advise you about treating your tattoo during the consultation. You are not eligible for laser tattoo removal if you are pregnant or are undergoing cancer treatment.

How is Laser Tattoo Removal Performed?

Laser tattoo removal procedures are performed by Dr. Humphrey or one of our specially trained nurses. We apply ice, a topical numbing cream, or injectable numbing medication to your skin before the treatment. We also sometimes use a Zimmer cooler to chill the skin during treatment. Laser energy is applied in short bursts. Most patients say the pain is less than that of getting a tattoo, and tattoo removal takes far less time. Depending on the size of the tattoo, most laser treatments usually only take a matter of minutes.

What Can I Expect After Laser Tattoo Removal?

You can return to your normal activities immediately after the treatment. Patients will likely experience side effects that are short-term but worth mentioning. Your skin may get red, swollen and potentially blister for a few days. Blisters can get quite large, and at times, cover the entire tattoo. However, they are superficial and will heal beautifully.  Treatments can be tailored to generate fewer side effects or more side effects. Generally more side effects mean fewer treatments and faster clearance and fewer side effects mean more treatments and slower clearance.

When Will I See Results?

Each person is as unique as their tattoo, but you should see results after one to three treatments. Full removal of your tattoo may require three to six treatments spaced out in four- to eight-week intervals.

The number of treatments can depend on several factors, such as:

  • Amount of ink used
  • Depth of the ink placed in the skin
  • Type of ink used
  • Location
  • Age of the tattoo
  • Colors used

How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost in Cape Girardeau?

The cost of laser tattoo removal is based upon the size and complexity of the design.

  • Tiny (1X1) – $99 per session
  • Small (2X2) – $150 per session
  • Medium (4X4) – $350 per session
  • Large (5X5) – $550 per session
  • X-Large (6X6) – $750+ per session

Laser tattoo removal is a cosmetic procedure, so it is not covered by insurance. We accept payment by cash, check or credit card. Financing is available through CareCredit®, and Lending USA.

Other Skin Rejuvenation Procedures

I Want to Learn More About Laser Tattoo Removal. What Do I Do Next?

Schedule a 30-minute consultation at our office. We will perform a brief skin test to ensure that you are a good candidate for laser tattoo removal. You can have the full treatment right away, or schedule an appointment at your convenience.

Additional Laser Tattoo Removal Q&As

  • Can I come back earlier than scheduled for the treatments?
    Unfortunately, no. The time between treatments is set up so your tattoo can heal properly, and your body has enough time to flush the tattoo ink out, naturally. The results, after a treatment, are not always immediate. The body breaks down the ink slowly, usually taking weeks to see the full results from a treatment. Treatments are scheduled on four to eight week intervals at minimum.
  • Do all colors of ink respond the same?
    black and red inks are the easiest to remove, while light greens and light blues are the hardest. The greens and blues may require more treatments than other colors, and in some cases, they cannot be removed completely.
  • Will the tattoo remove completely?
    In most cases, yes. However, complete removal is sometimes a hard thing to predict, due to the many unregulated tattoo inks on the market. The FDA does not regulate tattoo inks, and a lot of manufacturers and artists make and mix their own inks. Sometimes these mixes have metals and other foreign additives, for extra effect. These unknowns are why 100% removal is difficult to predict or promise.
  • What do you use for pain?
    We can use a Zimmer Cryo Chiller, ice packs and numbing creams/injections depending on the size and location of the tattoo. Our goal is to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
  • How are your lasers different from others for tattoo removal?
    Enlighten™ features extremely short and high-powered picosecond laser pulses which efficiently and quickly breaks down the ink particles in usually half the time of other lasers.

J. Stewart Humphrey, MD offer plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as laser tattoo removal, Pico Genesis® ,  and other skin rejuvenation treatments, for men and women in Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Sikeston, Bollinger County, Perryville, Dexter and nearby communities. Contact Heartland Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery today to schedule your personal consultation.