Tag Archives: scottsdale plastic surgery

Tattoo removal specialists at the National Laser Institute in Scottsdale work on removing a tattoo from a client.

Tattoo Removal Industry Booming As More Try To Live Without Regret

That’s the end of tat: Tattoo removal industry is booming as more try to live without regret.

Joelle Murray is a typical Scottsdale soccer mom. She is 34. Two kids. She drives a BMW SUV. She takes yoga three times a week. She loves her life.

But she hates her ink.

“I hate to admit it, but I have a tramp stamp,” Murray smiles, referring to the derogatory term for a tattoo that a woman places on her lower back. “I hate wearing a bathing suit.”

Murray is not alone. Forty-five million Americans have a tattoo, and a recent study showed that at least one-third of them regret their decision to get inked.

“I see people who come directly from the tattoo artist, from a day to a couple weeks afterwards, because they don’t like what they got right away,” says Dr. Jennifer Mundt, attending physician at Delete Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon in Phoenix.

Tattoo regret has created a booming business for Mundt and others who are in the business of removing regret. According to a study by The Patient’s Guide, an online grouping of small medical publications, there will be 32 percent more tattoo removals in 2012 than in 2011.

“Most people get tattoos when they’re younger – 18, 19 or 20,” says Shelley Cook, clinical laser instructor and tattoo removal specialist at National Laser Institute in Scottsdale. “When they turn 30 or 40, they start to look at that Daffy Duck on their arm a little differently. I have lots clients who’ve simply outgrown their tattoos, and others who need to remove them to get ahead in the professional world. Of course, getting the ex’s name removed is a big one, too. And, there are a lot of people who want to take off their old tattoos to replace them with new ones.”

Experts say technology is making it easier than ever to remove a tattoo.

“The process of tattoo removal is actually really quick,” Cook says. “Depending on the size of the tattoo, a session can be over in a matter of seconds.”

According to Cook, this is how the laser tattoo removal process works: A highly concentrated pulsing light targets the black or multi-color ink. This breaks up the tattoo pigment within the skin — splitting it into tiny fragments that are flushed out through the body’s lymphatic system. The tattoo will fade over time, and most clients will need around 10 to 15 laser treatments for the best results.

“The success of the process can depend on several things, including a person’s body chemistry, as well as the size and color of the tattoo,” Cook says. “Black is the easiest color to fade, and blue and green are the most challenging. Also, the closer the tattoo is to your heart, the easier it will fade.”

Since treatments can only be done once every four to six weeks, tattoo removal can take more than a year to complete. As for cost, treatments range from $50-$400 per session, depending on the size of the tattoo, so you can expect to pay more than $1,000 for a successful tattoo removal.

“On average, it’s about 10 (sessions to remove a tattoo),” Mundt says. “I’ve gone has high as 15 and as low as three.”

As for the belief that removing a tattoo is more painful than the needles that created the tattoo in the first place, Mundt says that is just a myth.

“The No. 1 misconception is that it has to be painful,” she says. “It does not have to be painful at all. I numb probably 95 to 98 percent of my patients. My favorite saying when their first tattoo removal is done is, ‘Dr. Mundt, that was it?’ It can be very easy with numbing. They do not feel a thing.”

For Murray, who is three sessions into removing her tattoo, her goal is to be able to wear a bikini without regret by next summer.

“I got my tattoo at the spur of the moment when I was 20,” she says. “It’s a tribal design. I’m not in a tribe. It has no meaning to me.

“And even though I don’t see it when I look in the mirror, I know it’s there. My kids know it’s there. And even though I went out and got a tattoo in a moment of rebellion, I don’t want my kids to think it’s OK to go out and get a tattoo.”


Here are five tattoo removal clinics to try if you’re trying to rid yourself of tattoo regret:

Delete Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon
6020 N. 16th St., Phoenix
(480) 269-9420


James M. Nachbar, Scottsdale Plastic Surgery, LLC
8896 E. Becker Ln., #102, Scottsdale
(480) 289-5300

National Laser Institute Medical Spa
16601 N. 90th St., Scottsdale
(480) 290-7333

Perfect Skin Laser Center
7045 E. 3rd Ave., Scottsdale
(480) 897-3623

Phoenix Skin
7312 E. Deer Valley Rd., Bldg. D, #105, Scottsdale
(480) 473.9111

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2012

Stem Cells Give Plastic Surgery A Facelift

Stem Cells Give Plastic Surgery A Facelift

For those looking for a new solution to looking younger, a local plastic surgeon is suggesting a different type of facelift — stem cell facelifts.

“Standard facelifts are pretty two-dimensional,” says Scottsdale plastic surgeon Jeffrey Ptak. “They pull the skin tighter, but that doesn’t necessarily make it look younger.”

Stem cell facelifts are three-dimensional, and they give the face volume, which is the key to looking youthful, according to Ptak.

“Aging is the loss of face volume,” Ptak says. “Each decade, we lose fat in our face, and continually filling the face can help you keep volume.”

According to Ptak’s research, 50 percent of the fat transferred to another part of the body lasts permanently.

“It has been proven that it is better to use body fat rather than commercial fat,” Ptak adds.

These stem cells come from fat and are produced in the bone marrow. Fat can be removed from the patient through liposuction, harvested and then replaced into the body where needed.

Researchers are even hopeful that stem cells will be able to replace scars or engineer new body parts in the future.

Stem cells have also proven beneficial in forming new blood and fat cells — acting as building blocks for collagen.

“When you combine this with good skin care,” Ptak says, “it has a profound effect.”

Stem cell procedures can also be done safely in the privacy of an operating office, but Ptak says to interview doctors for a safe, proper procedure.

“Very few [doctors] have fat transfer experience because it’s still not common here,” he adds.

According to Ptak, one should also review the surgeon’s facial surgery complication and success rate. Trained surgeons can produce enhanced, long-lasting effects.

As stem cells continue to make its way into surgical offices, more and more people will be able to enjoy revived skin.

“It’s a whole new approach to looking at the face three-dimensionally,” Ptak says.

For more information about stem cell facelifts and/or Jeffrey Ptak, visit doctorptak.com.

Jeffrey J. Ptak MD FACS
9431 E. Ironwood Square Dr., Scottsdale
(480) 451-9220

Tummy Tucks Surgery - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

The Skinny On Tummy Tucks

With three different procedures available, local surgeons discuss everything you need to know about tummy tucks

Post-pregnancy mommies and extreme weight loss patients love it when they reach their goal weight because it’s the moment when they realize that all their hard work paid off.

Their goal has been realized.

What they don’t love, though, is the loose, sagging skin that significant weight loss can leave behind. Even though most of the belly is gone, the stubborn skin that dangles around the waist often sticks around, no matter how many times or how intense they work the core.

This is why many people looking to get rid of that little bit extra are turning to abdominoplasty plastic surgery, also known as a tummy tuck, to reshape their abs and get their rockin’ core back. More than 144,000 tummy tucks were performed in 2010, making it the 4th most popular cosmetic surgical procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

There are three common types of tummy tuck surgeries: the mini, the traditional, and the extended tummy tuck.

Traditional Tummy Tucks

The traditional, or full tummy tuck, targets the entire abdominal area, both above and below the belly button.

Liposuction is frequently performed at the same time as a tradition tummy tuck to improve contouring and provide better cosmetic results. The traditional tummy tuck is most commonly performed on post-pregnancy or weight-loss patients to reshape the entire abdominal area, says Dr. John Williams of John Williams MD Plastic Surgery in North Scottsdale.

Mini Tummy Tucks

The mini tummy tuck targets the area below the belly button — the lower abdomen.

It is mainly targeted for a “very specific patient” that has some excess skin below the belly button, according to Dr. Williams, an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified plastic surgeon for more than 15 years.

Extended Tummy Tucks

The extended abdominoplasty covers the entire abdominal area, improving the waist and smoothing the shape of the upper lateral thigh as well.

An extended tummy tuck is a more extensive procedure that is often used for extreme weight loss patients because this procedure reshapes the abdominal area as well as the waist and the upper lateral thigh areas in many cases, says Williams.

Current Trends

Valley doctors are finding that many abdominoplasty patients are now opting for combination procedures, where they get an abdominoplasty and another surgery — such as breast augmentation  —  performed simultaneously to save money and share downtime for the procedures.

One way this is gaining popularity is with the “Mommy Makeovers” for post-pregnancy women.

According to Scottsdale double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sumer Daiza, who owns the Plastic Surgery Center of Scottsdale, the Mommy Makeover series of body contouring procedures is currently the most popular cosmetic surgery package.

The Mommy Makeover includes a package of cosmetic surgeries that address areas that pregnancy can impact, including the abdomen and breasts.

“(The Mommy Makeover) is popular with my patients because they have multiple surgeries done at one time,” says Daiza, who has been practicing for nine years.

Daiza’s Mommy Makeover patients often end up getting tummy tucks and breast augmentation at once to lessen the cost of anesthesia fees. Also, multiple surgeries at one time means only one period of recovery time for busy moms who are looking to get their pre-baby bodies back, she says.

Williams says that his take on the Mommy Makeover, the Total Body Rejuvenation, is also very popular with his patients. This typically includes a tummy tuck, breast augmentation and some liposuction.

Another popular option that Williams offers is his high-lateral-tension tummy tuck.

“My high-lateral -tension tummy tuck is very popular because it creates much more tension to really define the abdominal muscles,” Williams says. “I am one of the only ones in the Valley doing this.”

Downtime and Risks

As with any surgical procedure, certain risks or potential complications are possible with an abdominoplasty. Some of the risks associated with tummy tuck procedures include blood clots, infection and anesthesia risks, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Both Daiza and Williams agree that the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety is to research the doctor you want to perform your surgery.

“The plastic surgeon should be board certified,” Williams says.

Daiza suggests using the resources available to patients, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website, www.plasticsurgery.org, to check out potential doctors. It is important for the doctor to have the proper credentials.

She also suggests you ask the doctor about their hospital privileges for tummy tuck procedures.

“The key is it is all about educating yourself,” Williams says. “Potential patients have to do their homework.”

For more information about tummy tucks:

Plastic Surgery Center of Scottsdale
18325 N. Allied Way, Phoenix
(480) 585-0011

John Williams MD Plastic Surgery
9377 E. Bell Road
(480) 502-5755

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011