Check out more information on the newest treatments and technologies at Heartland, skinvive, Aveli, and Morpheus8, today!

Laser Tattoo Removal

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.

Laser Tattoo Removal with Enlighten

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.

Before & After Photos

During your consultation visit, your surgeon will show you before and after pictures of patients who have undergone a breast augmentation. You will be able to see firsthand the difference the procedure made for these people. Interested in viewing before and after photos before your consultation? Visit our online gallery.

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How is Laser Tattoo Removal Performed?

Laser tattoo removal procedures are performed by Dr. Humphrey or one of our specially trained technicians. We will apply ice to your skin before the treatment and can use the 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.

Patient Reviews

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“God has blessed the work of his [Dr. Humphrey] hands. I am very blessed and pleased with the results. I am equally blessed with the kindness, understanding, and sincere professionalism I not only received from Dr. Humphrey but from his staff as well. A team of phenomenal individuals. Thank you!”

“The staff is always very friendly. Dr. Humphrey was great as a surgeon and made me feel very comfortable the whole time. If I had to have another procedure, I would definitely go back to Heartland Plastic surgery.”

“Had such a great experience! Everything from the consultation to follow-up appointments was amazing! The staff is so pleasant and wonderful and I was always informed of the next steps 🙂 Would definitely recommend Dr. Humphrey!”

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

6 Commonly Asked Questions About Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal can be an effective method of eliminating tattoos you no longer want to be visible. There are many factors to consider before deciding to remove an unwanted tattoo through laser, including the age of the tattoo ink,…

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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. At your consultation, we will give a detailed cost for your tattoo removal.

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®.

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. Heartland Plastic Surgery is located 50 miles from Carbondale, IL and 66 miles from Farmington, MO.

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 treatment. Treatments are scheduled for four to eight-week intervals at a 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, a 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 break down the ink particles in usually half the time of other lasers.

View Before & After Photos

Interested in seeing the amazing results of our laser tattoo removal process yourself? Visit our before & after gallery for recent tattoo removal cases we’ve done to see the results for yourself.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Dr. J. Stewart Humphrey is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the gold standard for plastic surgery certification in the United States. Dr. Humphrey…


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