Laser Tattoo Removal Vancouver

PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal

Feel great and regret-free!

If you have a tattoo that you’re ready to remove, the targeted PicoWay Laser System may be just right for you. PicoWay works by shattering tattoo ink into minuscule particles. The advanced PicoWay technology is highly effective, removing a broad range of ink colors, including difficult-to-remove blue and green ink.

At our Vancouver clinic, our trained technicians will ensure that your tattoo is removed in the safest and fastest way possible. We will only be using the PicoWay Laser system under the supervision of a medical doctor, in our professional and sanitary medical-aesthetic clinic.

  • Performed by highly experienced laser technicians
  • Doctor-supervised
  • Treats all ink colours on all skin types (some limitations apply)
  • Photoacoustic energy offers a safer treatment than photothermal devices
  • Faster tattoo clearance with fewer treatments*

* Compared to traditional laser tattoo removal devices

What is the PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal

The unique picosecond laser technology delivers fast, comfortable treatments – more than any other traditional laser tattoo removal solution available. It’s a laser so fast it’s measured in picoseconds – a trillionth of a second.

PicoWay is FDA approved and can treat a variety of tattoo colours, including black, brown, blue, green, purple, red, yellow, and orange, across a broad range of skin types and colours.

PicoWay is a picosecond laser with high peak power and ultra-short pulse duration. It reaches below the surface of the skin to target pigment, such as tattoo ink, and breaks it down into tiny particles nearly invisible to the naked eye. The tiny particles will then be slowly removed by the body.

PicoWay is a Neodymium-Doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (Nd:YAG) that uses the 1064 nm, 785 nm, and 532 nm wavelengths. During your tattoo removal treatment we will use the different wavelengths to target specific tattoo ink colours.

How is the PicoWay Tattoo Removal Different

The PicoWay uses photoacoustic (sound) energy instead of photothermal (heat) energy to shatter the ink particles. The other big difference is that it uses an ultra-fast speed that is measured in picoseconds (trillionth of a sec) compared to other lasers that may operate at nanoseconds (billionth of a sec).

The difference in speed allows it to break the ink particles to finer-sized particles. For example, where nanosecond devices would break the ink particles from rock to gravel, the PicoWay breaks it from rock to sand (much finer).

Picoway NS vs PS Illustration
Traditional nanosecond laser tattoo removal technology vs PicoWay picosecond technology.

Versatility: The PicoWay can clear a large variety of ink colours including black, brown, blue, green, purple, red, yellow, and orange.

Fewer Treatments: The ultra-short pulses (300-450 picoseconds) allow more energy to be applied to the ink, allowing the laser to more efficiently break it apart.

Faster Results: With its ultra-fast delivery of concentrated high-power energy, PicoWay will shatter even tiny ink particles making it easier for the body to clear the tattoo ink. 86% of patients reported at least 50% clearance after just 3 treatments.

Minimized Risk: PicoWay’s ultra-short pulses target a specific area for a very short duration, minimizing the heat that gets transferred to the skin and lowering the risk of injury to neighbouring cells.

Minimal Discomfort: Since the pulses are fast, you will feel minimal discomfort. We would apply numbing cream to make it even more comfortable, however, some patients choose to opt-out from applying the cream to make the procedure even quicker.

How the PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal Works

The PicoWay uses acoustic (sound) energy instead of thermal energy to shatter the ink particles. It delivers ultra-fast high-energy laser pulses below the skin to break down the tattoo ink. The laser treats specific pigments and doesn’t break the skin surface when used for tattoo removal.

Who the PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal is good for

  • Anyone with any skin type and colour of tattoo ink that wants to get their tattoo removed effectively and safely (compared to traditional laser methods).
  • Anyone who can follow post-care instructions.

Benefits of the PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal

  • Quick treatments
  • Safe*
  • Treats a wide range of tattoo ink colours (including black, brown, blue, green, purple, red, yellow, and orange)
  • Treats a larger variety of skin types and colours
  • Well-tolerated treatment with mild, temporary side effects
  • Breaks the tattoo ink particles into much finer particles that can easily be removed by the body
  • Low to no downtime, you can go right back to your day

* relative to other laser tattoo removal machines.

Comparison of PicoWay’s 450 ps Pulse vs. ATV 50 ns Pulse

How many PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal treatments will I need?

PicoWay laser tattoo removal is effective and fast. The PicoWay usually requires less treatments than traditional laser tattoo removal machines, and you are likely to see significant tattoo clearance within the first few treatments.

The speed and number of treatments required to remove the tattoo depends on several factors:

  • Tattoo size: Small spot tattoo will require less time to treat than a full sleeve tattoo.
  • Skin type: Some skin types, especially darker ones, will need a lower energy setting to operate safely, therefore requiring more treatments to achieve optimal clearance.
  • Ink colour: Some colours will need more treatments than others to achieve the desired result.

In one study, 86% of patients showed at least 50% clearance of their tattoos after 3 treatments, and in a different study, 83% of blue/green tattoos had at least 50% clearance after 2 treatments.

Post 2 Treatments
Post 5 Treatments

How much does the PicoWay Tattoo Removal costs?

With all the advantages of the PicoWay laser, the most important fact is that you are receiving treatment from a trained and experienced laser technician under the supervision of a medical doctor.

The cost of the PicoWay treatments depends on the number of treatments and the tattoo size. We have a base price for 2 square inches and a charge per additional square inch.

We do offer a discount when you purchase a package of laser tattoo removal treatments.

PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal Contraindications and Cautions

The doctor may not approve your PicoWay treatment if you have:

  • A pacemaker/defibrillator.
  • Metal implants or other implants in the area.
  • Skin cancer, other cancers, or pre-malignant moles.
  • Severe concurrent conditions, such as cardiac disorders.
  • If you are pregnant and nursing.
  • History of diseases stimulated by heat, such as recurrent Herpes Simplex in the treatment area, may be treated only following a prophylactic regimen.
  • Poorly controlled endocrine disorders, such as Diabetes.
  • Any active condition in the treatment area, such as sores, Psoriasis, eczema, and rash.
  • History of skin disorders, keloids, abnormal wound healing, as well as very dry and fragile skin.
  • History of bleeding coagulopathies, or use of anticoagulants.
  • Facial laser resurfacing and deep chemical peeling within the last three months, if the face is treated.
  • Excessively tanned skin from sun, sun-beds or tanning creams within the last two weeks.
  • Synthetic fillers (e.g. silicone) in the treatment area.

Let the doctor know if you :

  • Have a history of skin cancer or any other kind of cancer.
  • Have impaired immune system due to immunosuppressive diseases such as AIDS and HIV, or use of immunosuppressive medications.
  • Have diseases, which may be stimulated by light at the wavelengths used, such as a history of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Porphyria, and Epilepsy.
  • Use of medications, herbs, food supplements, and vitamins known to induce photo-sensitivity to light exposure at the wavelengths used, such as Isotretinoin (Accutane) within the last 6 months, Tetracycline, or St. John’s Wort within the last two weeks.

These are some contraindications that may prevent you from having a PicoWay treatment, however during your consultation the medical doctor may still approve your treatment if he deems it low to no risk.

If the treatment area had injections the following waiting periods are required:

  • Following neuromodulator injections: wait 2 weeks.
  • Following natural fillers (e.g. Hyaluronic acid, collagen): wait 4 weeks

Risks of the PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal

Although lessened, the PicoWay has it’s risks like any other laser. The most common immediate side effects includes:

  • Discomfort
  • Mild/excessive redness
  • Swelling
  • Crusting, blisters, or a burn
  • Pinpoint bleeding
  • Tingling
  • Purplish spots

There are some pre- and post-treatment care required and recommended to minimize the risks and ensure a safe treatment and recovery.

Some patient may experience hyper-pigmentation (the darkening of skin colour) or hypo-pigmentation (the lightening of skin colour). This is usually temporarily and the skin will return to normal once the healing is complete.

Scarring can also occur but it is rare can usually be prevented with proper aftercare (treating blisters properly). If you notice excessive blistering or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic to meet with a doctor.

What to expect during the treatment:

  1. The skin is thoroughly cleansed prior to treatment.
  2. If treating the upper lip, the teeth may be protected with a moist, wet gauze. The gauze also serves to support the lip during treatment.
  3. Safety considerations are important during the laser procedure. The patient and all personnel in the treatment room must wear protective eyewear during the procedure to reduce the risk of eye injury. Your provider will take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and comfort.
  4. Multiple treatments may be necessary.

Pre-treatment Instructions

  1. Avoid the sun 4-6 weeks before and after treatment until your physician allows it, and apply sunscreen for 4-6 weeks before starting the treatment.
  2. We may ask you to stop any oral or topical medications or other skin care products 3-5 days prior to treatment.
  3. The use of self-tanning skin care products must be discontinued 1-2 weeks prior to treatment. Any residual self-tanner must be removed prior to treatment.

Post-treatment Care

  1. Immediately after treatment, there may be a “slight frosting” on the area that is treated. Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) at the treatment site can occur and may last up to 2 hours or longer. Pinpoint bleeding may also occur.
  2. An ointment (Aquaphor, bacitracin, or even Vaseline) should be applied to the treated area and covered with a non-stick bandage. You will be instructed to apply the lubricant and dressing for 7-10 days following treatment and then re-cover the treatment area with a non-adherent dressing affixed with paper tape.
  3. After the treatment, the skin will scab over. It is very important not to pick, scratch or aggressively wash the area to prevent possible scarring. The crust should flake off in 7-10 days.
  4. Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation).
  5. Use sun block (SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of your treatments.
  6. There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the area gently, as with any other wound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PicoWay?

PicoWay is a picosecond laser with high peak power and ultra-short pulse durations. It reaches below the surface of the skin to target pigment, such as dark spots or tattoo ink, and breaks it down into tiny particles nearly invisible to the naked eye.

PicoWay is FDA cleared for treatment of acne scars, wrinkles, pigmentation (dark skin spots), and tattoo removal.

Is PicoWay right for me?

If you are looking for a laser treatment that acts below the surface of the skin and offers low to no downtime, PicoWay may be the right laser for you.

Ask your doctor if PicoWay can help minimize your acne scars or wrinkles, of if it can remove bothersome dark spots or tattoos that you no longer want.

Who is this procedure not right for?

PicoWay is FDA cleared for certain uses: acne scars, wrinkles, dark spots and tattoo removal. If you are looking for other laser treatment, such as hair removal, then PicoWay is not the treatment for you.

While PicoWay works across a broad range of skin types, depending on the wavelength needed for your treatment, PicoWay may not be the best treatment for your skin type.

PicoWay is a treatment that typically involves treatment over a series of treatment sessions, so that is an important consideration in your treatment decision. A PicoWay treatment provider can walk you through your treatment needs and will be the best source for determining whether PicoWay is right for you.

Is PicoWay safe?

Side effects with PicoWay are typically transient and expected as part of the laser treatment. Patients experience low to no downtime. In some cases, patients may use a topical anesthetic to enhance comfort during the treatment.

More common side effects include redness, swelling, pinpoint bleeding, tingling or purplish spots. These effects will differ, however, depending on the treatment you receive.

Are PicoWay treatments painful?

How PicoWay feels will be dependent on the treatment you receive. Those undergoing tattoo removal are likely to experience some pain and discomfort with treatment.

How soon can I expect to see results?

Depending on the condition treated, you may be able to see initial improvement as early as after the first treatment. Typically, multiple treatment sessions are needed.

As an example, a clinical study of benign pigmented lesions found that after 2 treatments, 87% of lesions had a least good response (more than 50% had a good response or better). [PicoWay 510(k) clearance for benign pigmented lesions (K150326)]

Can I return to normal activities after treatment?

Yes, PicoWay has low to no downtime. Most people are able to return to their activities of daily living shortly after treatment. You may need a bandage to keep the treatment area dry for a few days following tattoo removal.

What makes PicoWay different from other treatments?

PicoWay is a picosecond laser with high peak power and ultra-short pulse durations for a photoacoustic, rather than a photothermal effect that heats the skin. PicoWay patients report high patient satisfaction and low to no downtime.

For more information about PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal in Vancouver, BC, contact us.