Categories
Tattoo Removal

Don’t let an unwanted tattoo scar the rest of your life

Tattoos, a permanent feature, but their beauty may be fleeting. Once the flame is gone, you might not always enjoy what you see, or what it represents to you ‘in the now’ as opposed to when it was created. This is when you start thinking of tattoo removal.

This unpleasant feeling lasts, a mark against us which cannot easily be removed. Or even if it is removed, the risk that the mark left over will be worse than the tattoo itself.

Millions of individuals with tattoos face the same conundrum every day.  Removing it represents a decision just as big, a leap of faith just as far.

Because each tattoo is unique, removal techniques are tailored to suit each individual case.

In the past, tattoos could be removed by a wide variety of methods. But, in many cases the scars were more unsightly than the tattoo itself.

But there may very well be a solution which you’ve never even knew about, much less considered,  laser tattoo removal.

Why are lasers ideal to remove unwanted tattoos?

Lasers are able to remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors of the tattoo with a high-intensity light beam. This may sound simple enough, but as with all treatments, there is an innate risk, like a lack of complete pigment removal, or a slight chance that the treatment can leave you with a permanent scar.

To have a tattoo removed, you need to ensure you find a reputable dermatologist, cosmetic center, or medical spa to ensure proper treatment and care. Treatment with laser depending on the age, size and type of tattoo (amateur or professional). The color of the patient’s skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will also affect the removal technique.

How about a cover-up?

Sometimes there are tattoos that you just want to do a cover-up on.

Laser tattoo removal is a much better option instead of trying to recreate a new tattoo with a cover-up. Our staff is able to remove parts of tattoos to pave the way for the new and improved tattoo. More than likely your tattoo artist will thank you for the blank canvas to lay some new ink on.

In short, don’t let an unwanted tattoo color the rest of your life. Have it removed by the experts. Our doctors and aesthetic specialists at Gentle Revive in Lindon, Utah, provide patients with a better way to remove your unwanted tattoos.

Categories
Body Contouring

Best Weight Loss Procedure?

The best weight loss procedure is only as good as your determination to lose weight. A procedure will never replace the need for creating new habits and goals. With that being said, obviously there are better weight loss procedures than others.

Almost all the procedures out there involve the stomach. This makes sense because it contains the receptors that say when you’re full and after chewing, is where your food begins to breakdown. So we’re going to focus directly on the weight loss procedures out there that deal with the stomach. Let’s start with the gastric balloon.

Weight Loss Balloon Procedure

Weight loss balloons are relatively new to weight loss procedure options. This option is actually non-surgical, which makes it stand out from other weight loss procedures. To briefly explain how the weight loss balloon works, a physician uses an endoscope down the throat to place a deflated balloon down into the stomach. Once the balloon is down in the stomach, the doctor then inflates the balloon usually with a sterile saline solution.

Once the balloon is in place, it will stay there for a period of a few months. During this time, the balloon takes up space inside the stomach to prevent overeating. This helps the person learn new eating habits and lose weight at the same time. By the time the balloon is removed, the person has learned new eating habits and continue to maintain the weight lost and even continue to lose.

This is the option we offer at Gentle Revive. We use a gastric balloon called Orbera. We’ve found that this is the best weight loss balloon on the market and also the best weight loss procedure because of the fact that it’s non-surgical. This means little to no downtime unlike surgical weight loss procedures. Also, it means that there are no anatomic changes to the stomach. You can always see if Orbera is a good option for you by scheduling a free consultation with us. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Read our article about how much you can lose with Orbera.

Orbera patient, Lindsey, explains how Orbera helped her listen to her body.

The other weight loss procedure options we’ll talk about are all surgical. While we don’t recommend these options because they alter the stomach permanently, they are a good option for some people.

Gastric Band Procedure

The gastric band, or lap-band, is one of the more popular weight loss procedures out there. One of the reasons for this is because the procedure is done laparoscopically, meaning that only little incisions are needed to place the band around the top portion of the stomach.

Essentially the band creates a small pouch in the upper part of the stomach. Once that stomach pouch is full, the brain senses fullness and prevents you from continuing to eat.

Although this procedure is not as invasive as other surgeries, it still usually requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay. This procedure is mostly reversible once the treatment with the band is completed. However, there still will be some tissue scarring after the band is removed.

Surgical procedures may not be the best weight loss procedures.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most invasive forms of weight loss procedures. Although it may be beneficial for some people the risks are much greater than the other options we’ve talked about so far.

Bypass surgery involves literally bypassing the majority of the stomach. A surgeon will make an incision at the top of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. This is similar to the lap band, but the pouch is permanent. After the pouch is created, the small intestine is then routed to connect directly to the pouch. This makes it so the lower portion of the stomach is bypassed completely. The cons to this procedure are that it involves a major surgery, a longer hospital stay, and the changes to your stomach are permanent.

In conclusion, there are a lot of options out there for weight loss procedures. We recommend taking the approach of researching the least invasive first. Since we offer one of these least invasive options, give us a call and schedule a free consultation to see if Orbera is right for you.

Categories
Tattoo Removal

How Laser Tattoo Removal Works

As long as people are getting tattoos, there will be people that want to get them removed. Tattoos are very popular, and are also thought to be very permanent. Until no relationship ever goes bad, tattoo artists are perfect with impeccable spelling, colored ink never fades, and until people tastes, likes and dislikes never change, there will always be people that want to have tattoos removed. Sometimes people run out of real estate on their canvas (skin) and they want to swap out one tattoo for another. Historically it has been difficult to get this ink out of the skin. Many different surgical procedures, abrasive skin treatments, hot needles, sandpaper usage, skin burning techniques and many other treatments for tattoo removal were performed. Safe and effective tattoo removal has not always been used. Many complications have occurred with trying to remove unwanted tattoos. The skin does not always fare so well with some of these methods that are used to remove tattoos.

I am a family medicine physician and a few years ago, I began asking my patients about their tattoos. The answers I got were pretty interesting to me. Initially, I worried that I was invading a patient’s privacy. I soon learned that people love to talk about their tattoos. I found that well over half of the patients with tattoos wanted them removed and tattoo regret is very real, and more common than I thought. But, it’s definitely not universal. A great number of people are very proud of their tattoos as they represent special people or special events in their lives that they cherish and love.

I became interested in tattoo removal with lasers when I read a book that spoke of rehabilitated criminals and drug addicts that can’t get work doing anything because of tattoos that were in places on the body or that say things that make them unemployable. I thought that this is something I could really get behind. I treat former drug addicts in a medication assisted treatment program to help them come off of heroin or other opioid substances. I love to see people’s lives change for the better when they get off drugs. The next hurdle for many was to get a job, and this was prevented many times because of certain tattoos. I learned about laser removal of tattoos and like most guys, I loved the thought of using lasers. I purchased my first laser from China and it showed up on my porch. I read the broken English instructions, took a course in tattoo removal and began to treat patients that I know personally or are my employees. It was as cool as it sounds, and it worked.

As I became more proficient at tattoo removal, I wanted a better laser to more effectively remove tattoos. My first laser was a Nd-YAG laser. I learned of other lasers called Q-switched lasers, nanosecond lasers, different wavelengths of lasers and even lasers that fire in trillionths of seconds called picosecond lasers. Ultimately, I bought the latest and greatest in lasers for tattoo removal called a 755 nanometer, picosecond laser that removes tattoos in fewer treatments and more effectively than any other laser. This laser, called PicoSure, can remove tattoos in 1-2 treatments with some types of ink and it can be used in all different skin types and skin tones in any ethnicity group. This laser also treats any color tattoo ink. It does all of this with low risk of complications such as burns, scars or discoloration of skin.

Modern lasers are safe, effective and very fast. All of this has made tattoo removal available to most, if not all, people that want tattoos removed.

The way that tattoos are removed with lasers is very interesting and very hi-tech. One first needs to understand how the ink interacts with the skin. When a tattoo is placed on the body the ink is injected under the skin and creates a large complex of colors that form an area that the body cannot do anything about because of the large particles under the skin. Too large for the body’s immune system to remove, the tattoo just stays there forever. Think of the ink as a large slab of concrete beneath the top layers of the skin. The laser breaks up the concrete (ink) into small pebble-sized particles of ink. This allows the immune system to come in and remove the smaller particles and treat them as waste. The PicoSure is so powerful that it breaks this “layer of concrete” into dust-sized particles and makes it much easier for the immune system to take away and treat as waste from the body. This translates to shorter treatment sessions and less cost to have tattoos removed.

What about pain?

Truth be told, tattoo removal with lasers is not painless. There are several things that can be used to help decrease the pain and distract the patient from the treatment. Experienced tattoo removal technicians and doctors will use extremely cold air that is directed toward the tattoo and help with the discomfort. Also, nitrous oxide (dental gas) can be used to help with moderate pain that is felt. Typically, the first treatment is felt the most due to the higher amounts of ink in the tattoo. Subsequent treatments are felt much less as the ink disappears.

What about cost?

Tattoos are priced based on the solid square inch of ink. We charge $75 per square inch of ink, per treatment. This is calculated during the consultation and often, one solid square inch of ink is usually 3-4 square inches of a typical tattoo. Once a tattoo gets to a certain size then there is just one flat cost for the whole tattoo for each treatment.

We would love to have you come in to Gentle Revive in Lindon, Utah, and get a tattoo removal consultation. Mention that you read this article and we will give you the first treatment absolutely free of charge. It is rare, but there are certain conditions that could prevent one from having a tattoo removed. We will talk to you about this at the consult and determine if tattoo removal is safe for you.

Categories
Body Contouring

A New Era of Liposuction

I remember back in medical school and residency watching some liposuction cases. I distinctly remember thinking that those surgeries were pretty cool. Great results, and in just one day. The drawback was that the surgeries were pretty invasive to the body and there was a lot of downtime. There were large cannulas (tubes) connected to suction pumps, patients under general anesthesia, and many postoperative complications. Some of those complications were blood clots to the lungs, legs and even death. For many years, and through my years as a family medicine doctor, I have always thought that it would be great to do cosmetic type surgeries where people had great results and in short periods of time. I was always taken aback by the high rate of complications and missed time off work for “just a cosmetic procedure”.

Now, many years down the road, and after a long time of delivering babies, doing cesarean deliveries, many procedures in the office including endoscopy of the stomach, vasectomies and other surgical procedures too numerous to count, I decided to look into liposuction. It has always stuck in the back of my mind as something that I wanted to do someday.

I was really surprised and pleased when I found how liposuction is done now in 2019. The procedure is very safe. It is done with a type of local anesthesia, called tumescent anesthesia, which is numbs the same fat layer that is being removed with liposuction. It allows the surgery to be done with the person completely awake and all the time not feeling anything more than some tugging, pushing and strange sensations as the fat is extracted from the areas we are treating. Often areas that are just completely resistant to diet and exercise. If that is not enough, liposuction is now done with very small tubes or cannulas instead of the large “garden hose” sized tubes used back in the day. This allows the fat to be removed more slowly and evenly for a more fine, smooth skin appearance after it is all said and done. I was also astounded to discover that the complications rates are next to nothing and recovery times are just a couple of days. Areas that are now treated are under the arms, under the chin, knees and nearly all other locations where this stubborn fat resides.

If that is not all enough change from back in past times, liposuction is now assisted with lasers. Lasers allow for a smoother result and because of the heat from the laser that is applied to the skin’s undersurface to help tighten skin. Loose skin was historically a drawback to removing fat with liposuction, leaving the skin flabby. Bleeding is also much less with the use of lasers as the laser beam coagulates off the small blood vessels that would otherwise tend to bleed and cause complications. One negative to the use of lasers was that the actual surgery time is a bit longer, but the trade-off of better results, less bleeding and fewer complications surely seems to outweigh the bit of extra time for the procedure.

I thought all of those benefits were amazing, but when I found that liposuction done in this manner is one of the most performed surgeries in the US today, I knew that I needed to learn even more. There was surely more to learn. Much to my surprise, liposuction is not only being done by plastic surgeons. Family doctors, emergency room physicians, hospitalists, gynecologists and believe it or not, I’ve heard of an orthopedic surgeon that is doing liposuction surgeries. As more doctors are performing this surgery it has become much more performed and the cost has come down significantly to a range that most anyone can afford.

Liposuction is so safe now that it is never done in hospitals anymore, and is always performed in an office or small operative suite, usually in the doctor’s office.

For myself and my decision to start performing this simple surgery, all of these benefits for the patient made it an easy decision to seek extra training and build an operative suite where people can come and get this affordable cosmetic surgery that has results so fast and dramatic.

The way that liposuction or SmartLipo, as it is called when it is done with the assistance of lasers, is done is by first finding a surgeon and clinic or spa to do the liposuction. You want a surgeon that is excited about helping patients feel better about themselves and their body, and really cares to take the time to talk to the patient and explain what is going to happen before, during, and after the surgery. It’s important to find a doctor and office that has the ability and desire to be there for the patient and be available should any problems arise even after the surgery is performed.

The patient having liposuction will have a health screening to assure that there are no health problems that would put you at unnecessary risk of complications. This is done by having a physical exam and communicating to the doctor any and all medical problems, and medications that are being taken. Some  medications need to be stopped, for a time, prior to liposuction. After this exam the patient is scheduled for a day to have the surgery.

On the day of the surgery the patient should eat a small meal and be driven to the clinic or surgery center by a family member or friend. Ride sharing or a taxi is not recommended to come to the appointment for the surgery. The patient then signs consent forms and before pictures are taken. Before and after pictures are always required to help document results. These pictures can sometimes be used by the doctor for marketing or showing to other patients, with consent only, from the person whose pictures they are.

After pictures are taken, 3 medications are taken. An antibiotic, a pain pill, and an anxiety pill are given to the patient and the patient is taken to the operative suite where cleansing and sterilization of the surgical site/s are performed. Then very small 1.5 to 2mm holes are placed around or inside the area that is going to get liposuction. These are the holes that the surgeon uses to access the fat that will be removed. The area is then anesthetized with lidocaine, and the laser is used to kill fat cells and shrink excess skin in the parts of the body that are being treated. The last part of the liposuction is to use the small cannulas to remove as much fat as in needed. It’s important to know that all fat is not removed. The surgeon balances taking out enough fat to get the desired look, without taking out too much for your health.

The holes that are used to access the fat are not closed after the surgery. They are so small that they are left to close on their own. They also act as drains to let the excess fat and fluid drain out of the body where the procedure was done. The holes will drain for 2-4 days depending on the site that is treated.

A compression garment is then used to hold pressure over the area that was treated. This does many things including helping to get the fluid out, helping the tissues heal well, and prevent seromas or fluid collections in areas that have had the fat removed. The compression garment also does much to help with discomfort that one can feel after the liposuction surgery.

Most people are up and about the next day, but not to work or heavy housework just yet. On the third day, people are usually feeling really good and are able to do most things normally with some discomfort. Most people describe the discomfort as muscle pain in the body that occurs a few days after a hard workout.

A week after liposuction, the patient is seen in the clinic by the surgeon to make sure all is going well and no complications and/or take care of any problems there maybe. For the holes that are healing, even though they are very small, we offer a complimentary treatment with a laser that can help the body heal with a better chance of having no little scars.

The most important of all of this is that the patient gets results quickly and with very little down time.

If you would like to get even more information about liposuction and to get the body you’ve been wanting, click below to schedule an appointment to come in for your free consultation and learn more.


Request a Smartlipo Consult

We Offer Great Financing Options

Click on one of the options below to check your rate and get started.