The Q-Switched Nd: YAG Laser is a type of laser developed to remove blue, brown, black and possibly other colours of tattoo pigment and certain brown pigment growths and birthmarks from the skin. Although laser sugery is effective in most cases, no guarantee can be made that a specific patient will benefit from the treatment. Treatment of the tattoo or pigment will be done in stages. Initially a test dose may be done to determine the necessary energy settings of the laser. Once this dose is determined, the entire tattoo or pigmentation will be treated at the next visit. The tattoo or pigmentation will be re-examined and re-treated if necessary at two months or longer intervals until either the entire pigment is removed or it is decided that the pigment will not be capable of being removed by the laser.
The number of treatment with the Q-Switched Nd: YAG Laser will vary depending on the lesion, size, location, colour and age of the patient and age of the tattoo. Most likely a total of three to seven visits/treatments or more will be necessary.
You have been treated with the Q-Switched Nd: YAG Laser. The treated area is very delicate and should be treated with care. Please read and follow instructions given.
In most patients the treated area loses pigmentation (hypopigmentation) and becomes lighter in colour than the surrounding skin temporarily. This type of reaction tends to gradually fade away and return to normal over a period of two to four weeks. With repeated treatments the pigment loss may become more persistent and take time to heal, up to six to eight months. There is some risk of permanent loss in the area of treatment, leaving a white shape similar to the original tattoo or pigment lesion being treated, but this is rare and usually avoidable by allowing adequate healing time between treatments.
There is some risk of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmentation) as a healing reaction. However, this type of change is very rare. If this should occur, the increased pigment usually fades away over a two to six month period.
Scarring is a very rare occurrence but it is a possibility. To minimize the chances of scarring, it is important that you follow the post-operation instructions carefully.
Persistence of Tattoo or Pigment
Some tattoo ink or pigment is located too deep in the skin to be removed completely in spite of repeated treatments and may leave vague spots of colour remaining after treatment. There may be some ink colours that change colour prior to removal and others that simply will not respond to this laser (eg. green tattoo). This means that it may not be possible to completely remove all tattoo and skin pigmentations with this laser. If this situation arises, there may be other treatment alternative available.