Mr A. O. Grobbelaar  MBChB  MMed(Plast)  FCS(SA)(Plast)  FRCS(Plast)

Laser Surgery - Tattoo Removal



A tattoo is created by depositing various coloured pigments under the skin surface for decorative or cosmetic purposes. Sometimes an explosion or a fall on asphalt can cause a tattoo, when pieces of metal, dirt or carbon become lodged under the skin. Most commonly the Q-switch ruby laser or the Nd:Yag lasers are used for tattoo removal. The success of the treatment depends on the colour of the tattoo and the depth of the placement of the ink.

The treatment

Can be performed as a day case. When large areas are treated in one sitting local anaesthetic may be indicated. Treatments are usually scheduled 6-8 weeks apart but can vary depending on individual response. A topical antibiotic is normally applied to the treated area afterwards twice daily for a period of 7 days.


Changing of the skin texture or scarring is rare. Hypo or hyper pigmentation may occur but is normally self limiting. An allergic reaction to the ointment or to shatter tattoo ink particles may occur. Darkening of flesh tone, white, rust or brown tattoo pigments may be seen. Infection of the skin may occur.

After the treatment

Immediately after the treatment there may be swelling, bruising or crusting and scabbing, which can persists for 1-2 weeks. Significant fading of the tattoo can continue for up to 6 months after laser treatment. The end result cannot be guaranteed.

If you require further information or want to schedule a consultation please contact Mr. Grobbelaar's secretary details on the Contact page