A new method to remove that ‘mistaken’ tattoo

It was just one of those times. Young sailors on shore leave, out for a good time in Everett. The next morning, Jay Yeager woke up with a large tattoo scrolled across his back. It read “In Nominee Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.”

It was just one of those times. Young sailors on shore leave, out for a good time in Everett. The next morning, Jay Yeager woke up with a large tattoo scrolled across his back. It read “In Nominee Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.”

That’s latin for In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

“Why’d I get it?” he repeated. “That’s a good question. I don’t really know. I was out with my buddies,” he said. “It was just what you did.”

But now, years later, Yeager is a father and husband, and knows that the tattoo doesn’t fit his life as it is today.

“I knew I wanted to have it taken off, before my kids were old enough to be able to read it,” Yeager said.

Through a connection, the Bellingham man found out about a new tattoo removal process being offered by a company in Poulsbo.

InHealth Image has just begun offering tattoo removal and skin rejuvenation services using the most advanced technology in the world – the Enlighten™ laser.

“We at InHealth Image seek to offer the safest and most effective aesthetic solutions by investing in the latest, most innovative technologies,” said Manfred Henne, MD, PhD, owner and co-founder. “InHealth Image is the only practice on the West Sound (including Tacoma and Olympia) offering this unique pico laser technology.

“Enlighten™ is the only system in its class with a hand piece that features up to three times greater energy,” said Henne. “For our tattoo removal patients, Enlighten™ offers better clearance of tattoos, and it accomplishes this much faster than existing laser systems.”

“Additionally, the Enlighten™ laser does the same thing to pigment cells for patient who want to remove brown spots or red patches,” said Viola Medina, ARNP, MSN, InHealth Image co-founder. “What separates the Enlighten™ laser from other lasers is its nanosecond and picosecond combination pulsing. The two nanosecond and 750 picosecond pulse durations, in combination, provide the massive power to “break” tattoo ink and pigment cells into minuscule fragments that are then able to be eliminated through the blood stream, all the while leaving other cells in the skin untouched.”

Hence, she said this better technology translates to fewer treatments and lower total cost for patients. Typically, there are three treatments, each six weeks a part, and depending on the original ink used and the size of the tattoo, treatments can run $300 to $1,200.

“Treatments can last from an hour to about 90 minutes,” said Medina. “And there’s only minimal discomfort.”

Patients describe the feeling as being like a rubber band snapping the skin. A topical anesthetic is used on the skin.

Yeager has undergone one treatment thus far, and plans to have two to four more, depending on what’s needed.

“I’m super impressed with the way it is working,” he said. “The treatment only took about 15 minutes, and I was only under the laser about five minutes of that. On a pain scale of one to 10, it was only about a six.”

He described the pain of getting the tattoo removed as “less than when it went on, for sure.”

Yeager said he’s not really a religious person and felt that the scripture tattoo wasn’t who he is now.

“It became kind of a laughing matter between me and my wife,” he said. “She didn’t object to it. But she supported me having it removed 100 percent.”

Most often, those who want tattoos removed, the doctors say, because they were mature when they got the tattoo and it no longer represents who they are.

“Tattoos are a personal expression of self,” said Medina. “But that changes over time.”

They tell the story of a young couple who came to see if the man could have the name Julie taken off his chest. Medina asked, “I guess you’re not Julie.”

She said patients are so relieved to have the “opportunity to have something they don’t like on their body removed.”

Yeager has other tattoos, but one refers to his military service in Iraq and it’s something a buddy drew for him, and another is a Japanese symbol. Both of those he got overseas.

“I’m fine with those,” he said. “But this one that I’m having taken off, it was just random.”

Another popular use on the new technology is for women who want to have brown “aging” spots on their faces lightened.

“With that treatment, there’s no injections and no peeling,” Medina said. Treatments are about 15 minutes long and cost about $300. “Most people think it’s almost like having a facial.”

Known for having the latest technology first in Kitsap County, InHealth Imaging is the home of 3Tesla MRI imaging, low-radiation 3D mammography, the virtual colonoscopy, and the first 3D test lung MRI.

Henne and Medina said what sets their office apart from others, besides the new technology, is that the InHealth Image team is comprised of “dedicated and caring professionals who have undergone extensive training.”

The entire staff emphasizes the comfort of the patient in a relaxed medical office atmosphere. The interaction of the physician, nurse practitioner, and technologists who co-plan treatment and who provide face-to-face communication with patients is a big part of what they do.

“Every patient is given the opportunity to discuss his or her treatment options personally with the team members who are caring for them,” Medina said.  “Since everyone on the team has a background in the medical field, patients have the peace of mind of knowing that services are based on proven and safe healthcare practices.”

Yeager complimented the service.

“Everyone was especially professional and caring,” he said. “They even gave me a Saturday appointment because I had to come from Bellingham.”

InHealth Image is located at 20700 Bond Road NE, Poulsbo. To learn more, call InHealth Image at 360-394-6466 or visit the website at www.inhealthimage.com.