Chicago clinic removing radiation tattoos for free


Chicago clinic removing radiation tattoos for free

By Assistant Metro Editor

Sempurna Restoration Clinic has implemented a new tattoo removal treatment that focuses solely on removing radiation ink marks from breast cancer patients for free.

The clinic, 220 W. Huron St., focuses on tattoo removal, skin treatments and body rejuvenation. 

The clinic has been removing radiation tattoos from breast cancer survivors for free since Sept. 1.

A typical tattoo removal costs $49 per square inch with a two square inch minimum, resulting in a $98 charge, according to Cleighton DePetro, director of Sempurna  Restoration Clinic and certified laser removal technician. 

 DePetro said removing the tattoos for free is Sempurna’s way of giving back to the community and the clinic will continue to remove the tattoos indefinitely.

Many breast cancer patients are left with ink markings on their bodies where the radiation was performed. Radiation tattoos are a series of four freckle-sized tattoos placed on the skin to ensure the radiation will directly hit the spot that needs treatment. 

DePetro said he recently learned about the radiation tattoos and said that he wanted to get involved because his grandmother had cancer.

“I heard through a few people about the fact that a lot of breast cancer patients have to get tattooed, which is crazy to me,” DePetro said. “I started looking into it, and sure enough, it’s a common thing. It just seemed like it fit really well with what we do. We remove tattoos, and we look for opportunities to get involved in the community.”

Palmina Trombetta, a breast cancer survivor, said that she never heard of the laser removal technology, but it would help her self-esteem if she were able to get it done. 

“The markings are a symbol of everything I went through. Being able to take them off would help me get past that chapter in my life,” Trombetta said.

DePetro said a consultation must be scheduled before a patient can receive treatment. 

The consultation helps decide how many treatments are need, as many factors come into play such as the color of the ink,  the density of the ink and if the patient was a smoker or not. Once the consultation is completed, the patient may begin treatment. 

One of the biggest concerns in tattoo removal is the pain, DePetro said. He said it is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. 

“People kind of hype [the pain] up,” DePetro said.

Sempurna Restoration uses a  new cooling machine before, during and after the removal treatment to numb the skin and prevent as much pain as possible.

“I’ve never had a client tell me they can’t handle the pain,” DePetro said. “Most people say that it just feels like a rubber band snapping. It is certainly tolerable,” 

Although many cancer survivors feel as though Sempurna’s services could help them, breast cancer survivor Ginny Gillespie disagreed.

“I honestly don’t know if that would help anybody,” Gillespie said. “For four years, I’ve been dealing with cancer patients and survivors, and nobody really complained.”

Sempurna now supports survivors, DePetro said. Any male or female patient affected with the radiation tattoos are accepted.

“When you are a [breast cancer] survivor, that’s so awesome, but then you’re ‘permanently marked,’ it just seemed like a good thing to do,” DePetro said.