Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
My name is Lea McDonald. I have decided to share my story on this website, so anyone who is considering laser tattoo removal in the future, might benefit from seeing the results of my ongoing journey.
Firstly, my warning: beware of inexpensive quick-fix methods! Before discovering Victorian Cosmetic Institute, I was totally disillusioned by the process of tattoo removal. After initially trying an inferior method of treatment elsewhere, the prospect of allowing someone else to potentially further damage my skin was daunting. However, thanks to the honesty of Dr Gavin Chan, I now have realistic expectations of laser treatment and totally trust the process that is gradually unfolding.
Regardless of the end result, I am grateful to the staff at VCI for their advice, support and professionalism. Thank you for this opportunity to contribute an accurate account of the highs and lows associated with my tattoo removal. Expressing thoughts and documenting changes along the way has helped me to stay optimistic and it is my hope that others who decide to walk the same path, will feel encouraged by my experience.
Getting the tattoo
It was meant to be a special way of acknowledging a significant milestone in my life. My husband and I were overseas, visiting our son in America when I celebrated my 50th birthday. I felt daringly carefree after spending the day in Mexico. Then as we crossed the border back into Arizona, I made the decision to do something much more permanent to mark the occasion. I scheduled an appointment to have a tattoo.
I had toyed with the idea for a while and put a great deal of thought into the type of image that might inspire my journey into midlife and beyond. I decided my tattoo would need to symbolise faith, hope and love. I also wanted it to serve as a constant reminder that life is beautifully fragile and far too short for regrets.
How ironic, that the inspirational artwork I envisaged, actually became my biggest ever regret. The only thing I love about this whole experience, is staying hopeful the damage can be reversed and having faith in the laser tattoo removal process.
A heart within a cross formed the body of my rainbow coloured butterfly. The design looked perfect on paper and I couldn?ɬ?t wait to glance over my shoulder and see it graciously decorating my upper arm. However, as soon as the outline was transferred onto my skin, my whole perception of it changed. In my eyes, gazing down at the design from this entirely new angle, my butterfly looked less like a creature of beauty and more like an ugly fanged monster.
Over the next week or so, I dealt with feelings of disappointment, guilt and frustration. Knowing there was nothing I could do to magically erase this new and unwanted part of me, I had no choice but to start forgiving myself and learn the art of patience ?ɬ