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Patient compliance as a major determinant of laser tattoo removal success rates: a 10-year retrospective study.

Jow TBrown AGoldberg DJ.
University of Medicine and Dentistry, NJ Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.

The use and success of high-energy, short-pulse, Q-switched lasers for tattoo removal has been well demonstrated. Three types of lasers are currently commercially available for tattoo removal: the Q-switched ruby laser (694 nm), the Q-switched alexandrite laser (755 nm) and the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (532 nm and 1064 nm). Multiple parameters such as tattoo type, color, location, and patient skin type dictate which laser is optimal in each patient. Despite the demonstrated efficacy of these modalities, there are few papers that address some of the long-term issues of tattoo removal, such as patient compliance, and how these issues impact on the success rates of optimal tattoo removal treatments. In this retrospective study, 10-year data from a single center are presented. Our data include parameters such as clearance rates, number of treatments, wavelength of the utilized laser, and fluence and spot-size setting. In addition, potential complications such as scarring, hypopigmentation, and pain were analyzed. Finally, we examine the patient compliance that accompanied tattoo removal and the reasons behind the typically low success rates for total tattoo clearance.
PMID: 20635847 [PubMed - in process]


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