Laser lipolysis on tattooed arms?

Hello, I'm considering using low-frequency laser lipo on the backside of my upper arms to shape them, but I have a sleeve tattoo wrapping around the whole of one arm. Does the laser affect tattooed skin adversely? If so, are their any other cosmetic procedures that don't?

Doctor Answers 5

Laer liposuction and tattoos.

During Laser Liposuction (of all kinds and brands) an energy-based skin tightening treatment is done to the underside of the skin. In Vaser this is done with radiofrequency, in Smarlipo it’s a laser. The idea is to heat the collagen layer, the deepest layer of the skin, to encourage it to shrink, and to grow new collagen.

Now, I’ve never seen this have a negative impact on tattoos. But to be frank, there is the risk that the skin could contract unevenly. I’ve never seen it, but it’s a risk, and that would distort your tattoo. I think it’s a low risk with a good practitioner with lots of experience. That’s the only risk I see. Any skin tightening procedure would have these same risks.

I treat a good number of tattoo removal patients each year, and even the exotic tattoo styles (such as jailhouse tattoos and traditional pacific tattoo styles) keep the ink in the very top-most layers of the skin, where the energy from these treatments would not reach. I’m not sure if you were concerned with erasing the tattoos, but I wanted to be clear that these lasers are different than tattoo removal lasers, and that’s not a risk for you with these treatments.

Livingston Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Firstly the Laser does not have any adverse affects on tattoo'd skin. On the contrary the Laser helps with skin retraction so would be beneficial to help sculp the arms.

Shaz Musavi, MBBS
Sydney Physician
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Laser Lipo

Thank you for your question.Laser liposuction will reduce the fat on your concerned area, sagging skin is a possibility. It is best to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist for best treatment plan. I hope this helps!

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


Thanks for the question, I have used laser for liposuction under tattoos without issues because the tattoo ink is embedded within the skin

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

i would recommend Smartlipo

you don't provide too many details about yourself such as your age, height and weight etc
i think the minimally invasive liposuction such as Smartlipo will give you a better 
result than the external lasers only.
it will not matter that you have a tattoo for Smartlipo.

definitely see a board certified PS.
good luck
david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.