Very helpful explained everything well and made me feel very comfortable

Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
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*Treatment results may vary

Went in for consult today with Dr. Ricatta in...

Went in for consult today with Dr. Ricatta in Vernon Hills. I'm so happy that i did. I've been living with horrorendous tattoos (sleeves) on both arms for years. These tattoo have been ruining my life since i got them a little over 2 years ago. I always cover my arms in public and even developed extreme anxiety and severe depression which i was even hospitalized for. All i can say is that the staff that helped me were very kind and helpful. Robynn explained everything and answered all of my questions and was very nice and understanding with me. I was worried they wouldn't be able to help me with one of my tattoos which is basically almost solid black around 50% of my forearm but they told me it can be done. I was also worried about the price i was qouted 2,000.00 and that made me even happier. I haven't been to work in a little over a year now because i have been feeling so bad about my situation. Hopefully i can get working again and save up that money fast. I'm trying to keep my hopes realistic though because i know complete removal may not be possible and if that happens i may just get a cover up. I'm staying optimistic about it though. Praying for this! I will try and get some photos up soon.

Wow well great!

I had no idea the price i was quoted was per session. Cheers to looking like a freak for the rest of my life!

Shopping around

I've decided to forget about my consult with Dr. Ritacca and look for somewhere a bit cheaper. Getting treated with the picosure and by a great doctor would have been nice but my budget could never afford it. I've since looked into a place called 'Hindsight tattoo removal' it's run by a tattoo shop called 'Insight Sudios'. I gave them a call today and they asked me to email them some pics of my wreckage. I gotta find a way to get some up. Seems like these people will be cheaper regardless and i've since decided on just fading for a cover up. Stay posi :)

My Disasters

Hindsight tattoo removal

I've decided that i will be going with them for my removal. Great price! Great reviews! I will be ready for my first treatment in april. Wish me luck!

Booked for my first session (nervous wreck..)

Booked for 11am this friday. I'm freaking out sooo bad. I'm afraid of scarring, not seeing any results, all that can go wrong lol. This sucks! I've decided to go with Dr. Ritacca because he has the picosure and has removed lot's of tattoos. I made sure Dr. Ritacca himself would be operating the laser so everything seems cool. I'll be getting the whole left forearm treated. They apparently only do injections for pain so i'm thinking of going HAM on this and not doing anything for pain lol. Does it really hurt that bad? I'm scared about how all the black will heal. I was unable to get into my account for about a week. Switched browser and got in today. Now i know how much i appreciate having this forum available. Hold on for a second while i puke.

Fluid, Swelling, Blisters, Motrin, no sleep..

1st treatment on entire left forearm is finally done. I wen't with a cool air blast for pain and just kinda chilled out. The pain was worse near my wrist and elbow. Dr.Ritacca went over my entire tattoo twice. I think he used the revlite on the first pass and used the picosure on the second. It took about 2 hours to cover it all twice. Dr. Ritacca was cool and his assistant robynn kept the cool air on it so i wouldn't feel so much pain. It took a couple hours and i started seeing alot of fluid coming from my arm. I was told it was completely normal and that it was ink so i chilled out. Needless to say my arm is pretty big and its COVERED in blisters. They don't hurt much unsless i mess with them. I've changed the bandage 3 times already and i'm getting used to things now. My fist is also swollen and hurts. I'm taking motrin for the pain. Haven't gotten much sleep. I'm hoping to get some tonight. Dr. Ritacca said he's expecting about 50% fading so i'm keeping my fingers crossed. I will update when things progress.

Fluid, Swelling, Blisters, Motrin, no sleep.. continued

Everything seems to be healing up. Blisters are all starting to pop and dry up :). I'm seeing so much fading under it all and i hope it continues. Arm is still swollen. Hand has gone WAY down. I had some swellling in my upper arm that seems to travel up and has gone to my lat/chest area a bit. I'm not sure what that's all about but i feel fine anyway. Arm is a bit painful but i think things are starting to look up. My anxiety and depression have been really bad lately, but i'm managing. I'm just hoping the emotional side of things doesn't get so bad that it affects my healing.

Peeling, Drying, Itching, HEALING

So things are continuing to improve. My arm and hand are no longer swollen at all. The arm is drying out and peeling. It itches but i have been able to keep myself from scratching it. Very little pain every now and then but i can say the worst is over. I would put some pics up but i have no camera. It looks like a zombie arm :( lol. I will post again when things begin to lighten up.

Road to recovery

Everything is healing up nicely my arm no longer looks like a zombie arm. I'm seeing A TON of fading :). Skin is red though, i will be glad to see that fade. I'm ready to switch to a moisturizer soon. I'm debating between, Aloe? Cocoa butter or bio oil (some type of scar healing cream)? Any suggestions?

1 month 3 days post

I'm happy to say that everything so far couldn't have turned out better. My giant tattoo is almost gone. I would say one (2 at most more treatments) and it will be gone COMPLETELY. The fading I have from one treatment is amazing! I hope it continues to fade. It's really almost gone! Planning on zapping the other arm next and that should be gone super quick!

Feeling different, feeling better

Cardio, weights, whole foods, sobriety, religion, phone calls to close freinds, family, therapy all these things are my life right now. I miss going out like i used to but i sacrifice to benefit the all. i hope these things are at least helping my healing (not just keeping me sane). I'm rubbing bio oil on it every night and everything really is looking awesome. Unfortunately i get redness in some of the areas where the removal has worked at times, diminishing to a pink and sometimes my regular skin color. I don't know if it has to do with the removal process or what. I'm looking forward to going back hopefully in July if my finances are right and really clearing this sucker! It's no longer solid black and has faded to grey 'wave' work which was the filler for my amatuer japaneses sleve lol. The waves aren't even solid now and the samuari and other work is basically gone (so happy). I'm at least wearing t's at home now which is great and no longer feel like a slave to my room. I really am starting to see just how serious i was taking the whole thing just a little over a month ago. I think because i was also terrified of begining the process but i went for it and i'm glad that i did. I have much more respect for anyone who has any REAL serious issue. I mean i still want this thing gone but i don't obsess about it anymore and know things really are great in my life and i have so much to be happy about and tattoos aren't really forever (but might as well be lol). I'm slowly feeling more like my old self again:) I'm happy. Looking forward to future treatments! Dr. Ritacca really did a great job!

Tattoo removal has been totally worth it for me

I honestly think i'm already for a cover up! i will most likely be doing my other forearm in July. I'm so happy with my results! I hope it continues to fade! Anyone with a tattoo that they're unhappy with would be dumb not to have treatment.

Been a loong time since i updated

So it's been 3 months since my first laser treatment. I would post pictures but it looks pretty horrible still. I just got a job that i'm starting monday that pays good so i'm most likely going back for treatment #2 and by then hopefully i will be ready for a cover up. It's weird because sometimes the area looks sooo light but when i put on some cocoa butter or something it looks pretty dark still. I'm debating meeting with my artist and having him decide. My arm is still kinda sore and hurts a bit and i seem to get little pimples. My arm is still not fully healed. I wear short sleeve t shirts a lot now but this thing just wont go away. people still stare at my arm like it's the most bizarre looking thing in the world. I just wish this bs was over already. I know patience is key though and i won't settle for crap. Treatment #2 should be coming soon.

update date

so i'm getting ready in the next couple weeks to get hit again. I'm kinda nervous to go back. A LOT of the ink is gone but it just doesn't seem to heal? I took the train down to the city to meet the person i'm looking forward to having do my cover up work someday :( He says i deffinitely should get a couple more treatments. He was also extremely suprised with the outcome so far of my removal. Thing is soo much ink is gone but my skin looks pretty crappy honestly which is making me nuts. He thought i had it treated two weeks ago or something. I'm not sure why but this bad boy just isn't healing. He thought i had some red in there and was a bit shocked to know it was just black. I pray my skin doesnt end up soo bad i wont be able to get a decent cover up. Not like a crazy scar or anything but where the ink is gone the skin looks kinda spongey and shiney and i have redness with like these little red bumps. Wonderful thing is my bestfriend is coming into town this week and i'm a freaking wreck. The place where i met my cover up artist also does removal. I'm debating where to go from here? I honestly don't know if i got a super treatment or just burnt the ink and the crap out of my arm. I'd post pics but ahh.. so harrrd. I'm lost.


Everything has turned out pretty awesome for me. My skin looks/feels great. I'm gonna wait a couple months more before going back tho. Reading from the start of my review i'm sorta shocked at how bad things were. I regret spilling my guts out on this forum. Some of the things i shared on here were so real yet so stupid to me now. No longer will i post in forums where u have little control over editing your post's. Especially a forum that is pretty touchy for those going through with these treatments. Sorry dudes this will probably be my last update. Good luck to everyone.
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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