Plastic Surgeon Removes Facial Tattoos, Gives Hope for New Life

Posted on December 9, 2011 | by

A report from msnbc and the AP is shining a new light on the renewing capabilities of laser surgery.

Bryon Widner had left his white supremacist lifestyle behind 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 new priorities: holding a job and doing his part to support his family.

After searching the web in vain for a safe way to remove tattoos, he reached out to a group call the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group helped him find a solution and a a donor who would help pay for his extensive 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.

“Anyone who is prepared to put himself through this is bound to do something good with his life.”

– Dr. Bruce Shack, plastic surgeon

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 laser treatment:

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.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy