In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, leading plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Rice of Rice Cosmetic Surgery will again offer women who have successfully completed breast cancer treatment a complimentary tattoo removal treatment throughout October to remove their radiation tattoos with PicoSure® from Cynosure, the latest and most effective laser tattoo removal technology available. If you have had clearance from your oncologist, contact Rice Cosmetic Surgery at (416) 391-4048 to book your consultation to make sure you are a candidate for a complimentary tattoo removal treatment in October. There is a small fee for additional radiation tattoo removal treatments if required.
Radiation tattoos are a series of permanent freckle-sized dots tattooed on the skin that technicians use to align radiation beams for targeted cancer treatments to ensure that the radiation directly hits the spot that needs treatment. Many breast cancer patients are left with these tiny tattoos after radiation treatment and while some people see these as a mark of strength for the courageous battle they faced, for a lot of women they’re an unwanted reminder of the weeks of uncomfortable radiation treatments.
“Last year over ___ women had their radiation tattoos removed using PicoSure,” says Dr. Rice, Rice Cosmetic Surgery. “PicoSure safely and quickly removes tattoos in fewer treatments with faster recovery time and greater results. We are offering free radiation tattoo removal to women who have completed breast cancer treatment to try and help eliminate these unwelcome reminders of that difficult time in their life.”
A consultation is scheduled before a patient can receive treatment to determine how many treatments are needed, as many factors come into play such as the color of the ink and the density of the ink. The blue or black ink used to mark these spots is hard to remove but with PicoSure, radiation tattoos are erased with fewer treatments and with greater ease than ever before. Once the consultation is completed and the patient has clearance from their oncologist, treatment may begin.
“PicoSure allows us to get rid of radiation tattoos in as little as one or two treatments,” states Dr. Rice. “We zap each tattoo for about five seconds with the laser to break up the ink which is then slowly absorbed by the body.”
Deborah Grimes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and later found out she had the BRCA gene, which meant she had a 95% chance that she would have a reoccurrence. She had chemo and radiation and chose to have a double mastectomy.
“They permanently tattoo you because the radiation is zeroed in on certain spots on your body,” states Deborah. “The radiation tattoos can be a badge of courage because I survived, but they can also be a bittersweet reminder that my whole life was turned around while I went through the treatment.”
Years after getting the all clear, Deborah decided to get her radiation tattoos removed last October after hearing about the offer at Rice Cosmetic Surgery. Removing the tattoos were one more step on her journey to maintain a clean bill of health.
One of the biggest concerns in tattoo removal is the pain. PicoSure uses a cooling machine before, during and after the removal treatment to numb the skin and prevent as much pain as possible. Following treatment, it may take about a month for the tattoo to fade and some women may need a second treatment.
Please note: Whether or not you should remove tattoos after completing radiation therapy varies based upon your diagnosis and health. It is very important to first consult with your oncologist prior to having your tattoo removed.