Laser Tattoo Removal can be uncomfortable, no doubt about that. However, at Messina Aesthetic Medicine “Dr Undo Tattoo” every measure is taken to make your laser tattoo removal process as pain free as possible.
How bad is laser tattoo removal pain? This is generally the third most commonly asked question. My answer to this question is simple,by following my steps below, the laser removal of tattoos need not be that uncomfortable.
I use a multiple step plan developed by a board certified Anesthesiologist blocking laser tattoo removal pain on every level.
Lessen the pre laser anxiety
Topical preparations an hour before starting to allow the area to go numb
Cryo-Anesthesia cooling the surface of the skin down to below -10 degrees Celsius before, during and immediately after laser tattoo removal
Nerve blocks for large areas if required or feasible
Local makes for painless laser tattoo removal
Injectable medication on very rare instances
Sedation (requires more perpetration, entails extra cost for nursing)
Careful injection of Lidocaine will completely anaesthetise many tattoos
I am working on blocking dermatomes to be able to use local on larger tattoos.
Never let any non physician attempt to use lidocaine injections or any other anesthetic to block your pain. It must be performed by a medical professional.
Laser tattoo removal pain is greatly reduced by instituting the steps above in every patient. Discussing and reassurance go a very long way in reducing laser tattoo removal anxiety.
You tube is full of screaming patients undergoing laser tattoo removal. In my opinion that is un-necessary its likely that the energy used was set to high and even more likely there was inadequate topical anaesthetic placed on the tattoo site. It takes at least 40 minutes to properly anaesthetise an area.
Patients describe the pain of laser tattoo removal as if a stretched rubber band was snapping against your skin. Another description is the sting of bacon grease spurting onto your hand.
Of course those comments are from those who did not take any measures to reduce the pain of laser tattoo removal.
My topical anaesthetic is by prescription only and likely much more potent.
The use of cryo-anesthesia coupled with the topical is additive in pain control. I utilize an expensive and large “chiller” to obtain this constant level of cryo-anesthesia. This unit is FDA regulated and only for distribution and use by medical professionals.
Occasionally I can use an injection of Lidocaine to block a single nerve. This is very popular for laser tattoo removal on the foot or a toe which can be very painful. The nerve block will not affect your ability to walk but will completely render the foot or toe pain free.
I am looking into an injectable form of Motrin called a non steroidal anti inflammatory that holds promise in pain relief during minor surgeries. If this seems like a rational medication for laser tattoo removal I will add it to the pain management program.