Plastic Surgeon Performs Tattoo Removal for Reformed Skinhead

A recent story from MSNBC and the Associated Press has cast a new light on the renewing capabilities of laser surgery.

Bryon Widner was a reformed white supremacist when he decided that facial tattoos were no longer a proper reflection of his identity. Looking like a thug wasn’t in line with his priorities: holding a job and doing his part to support his family.

He needed a solution, which he was fortunate to find through a group called the Southern Poverty Law Center. A donor who was moved by Widner’s story offered to help pay for his tattoo removal procedures.

Dr. Bruce Shack, a plastic surgeon and member of the ASPS, was the doctor who helped Widner remove the signs of his past.

Widner and his wife Julie found Dr. Shack to be the professional and caring physician they needed for such an arduous treatment process.

“He didn’t just see the tattoos; he saw me as a real human being,” Widner told reporters.

The Associated Press story provides details of his procedure:

On June 22, 2009, Widner lay on an operating table, his mind spinning with anxiety and hope. A nurse dabbed numbing gel all over his face. Shack towered over him in protective goggles and injected a local anesthetic. Then he started jabbing Widner’s skin, the laser making a staccato rat-tat-tat sound as it burned through his flesh.

Through 25 laser tattoo removal procedures, Dr. Shack was able to erase the ink from Widner’s face, giving him hope for a normal life. “Anyone who is prepared to put himself through this is bound to do something good with his life,” the doctor said.

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