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Laser tattoo removal patch can increase efficiency and improve patient safety

Study reveals multiple benefits to both patient and provider when using perfluorodecalin (PDF) patch during tattoo removal treatment.

By Stephanie Grauden | Jun 01, 2017

Wausau, WI (June 1, 2017) – It is estimated that 36% of Americans aged 18-25 have at least one tattoo. It is also estimated that 25% of Americans with tattoos regret getting them. Laser-assisted tattoo removal is generally regarded as safe and effective but the procedure has limitations. Research published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) reports that use of a patch in conjunction with a laser could make the process of tattoo removal quicker, safer and more tolerable.

Brian S. Biesman, MD, FACS and Cara Costner RN, FNP conducted the research. The manuscript titled, “Evaluation of a transparent perfluorodecalin-infused patch as an adjunct to laser-assisted tattoo removal: A pivotal trial” was selected as Editor’s Choice in the April 2017 issue of LSM.

In this paper, the authors report that use of a special patch in conjunction with laser-assisted tattoo treatment can allow more treatment to be administered at each session. In addition, use of the patch improved tolerability of treatment and reduced unwanted side effects. This patch could represent a significant breakthrough in the treatment of unwanted tattoos.

“Laser-assisted treatment of tattoos is well known to be associated with challenges and limitations. Epidermal whitening typically occurs following treatment of tattoos with Q-switched lasers. Perfluorodecalin (PFD) is an optical clearing agent, which reduces epidermal whitening associated with laser-assisted tattoo treatments,” said Dr. Biesman. “In a previous publication of this Journal, we reported that the majority of tattoos treated with a Q-switched alexandrite laser cleared more rapidly when treated through a PFD infused silicone patch.

“In this publication, we demonstrate that almost 3 times more passes can be made with Q-switched laser during a five-minute window when treating tattoos through a PFD infused silicone patch as compared to treating in the traditional manner through air. In addition, use of the PFD patch was associated with improved tolerability compared with conventional treatment, with subjects experiencing fewer and less severe adverse effects related to epidermal injury. Additionally, when surveyed at the 1-month follow-up visit, all subjects (30/30) preferred to continue laser-assisted tattoo removal with the PFD patch.”

Dr. Brian Biesman is an Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon in Nashville, TN. In addition to his private practice Dr. Biesman holds a Clinical Assistant Professor position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center divisions of Ophthalmology, Dermatology, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Biesman is a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) of which he is a past President. He was recognized by his peers for excellence in the use of lasers for patient care, in research, and in teaching other physicians best practices in laser medicine. He has also been recognized for contributions to the field of aesthetic oculofacial surgery. His research is focused on the development and testing of new drugs and devices for novel approaches to aesthetic rejuvenation. He also sits on numerous editorial boards and corporate advisory boards. 

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization, dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. Currently, ASLMS has over 4,000 members, including physicians and surgeons representing more than 51 specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, nurses, industry representatives and manufacturers.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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