Sitting through the tattoo process – including the needles – is part of getting tattooed. But what if there was a way to bypass the pain and get from point A to point B under anesthesia?
Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Tyga was given anesthesia to get a tattoo on his back. In the photos, multiple tattoo artists are seen working on Tyga simultaneously. And in September, reports emerged that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott spent 11 hours under anesthesia to get a tattoo on his big toe.
This is a completely new concept. The question is – is it safe?
Anesthesiologist Dr. John Baer, DO, said, “Anesthesia is actually much more complex than flipping a switch like turning off a light.”
“But those who have money, fame, they will find places where they can do it safely, but there’s still always an inherent risk,” Dr. Baer said. “In the 1940s, about 1 in 1,000 people died from anesthesia,” he said. “Now that number is closer to 1 in 100,000.”
This could be a new tool for tattoo artists. But it comes with doubts and concerns.
“If some negative things come out of this, it will have a bad effect on us professionals who are trying to do this safely, in a discreet way,” said Ben Shaw of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. He has been tattooing for 23 years.
If anything goes wrong during a medically induced coma, it could be a problem. Even after the anesthesia wears off and the tattoo is done, a person’s body may still react to the physical trauma of the ink or needles.
“If there’s no appropriate medical staff around to look after these types of situations, that’s something that could become an even bigger concern for us,” said Mick O’Herrian, vice president of the Alliance of Professionals. Tattoo makers.
Tattoo licensing requirements vary in each state – states like Arizona do not require a license for tattoo artists, while states like Minnesota have a $420 licensing fee that must be renewed every 2 years. However, in all states the client must be 18 years of age before getting a tattoo.
As far as anesthesiologists are concerned, physicians who specialize in anesthesiology must complete medical school and then a four-year anesthesiology residency program. Approximately 75% of physician anesthesiologists are board certified, According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists,
So it’s important for customers to make sure they do their homework and ask the right questions.
“The question will be who will provide the medicine? What type of anesthesia are they providing? Are they licensed? Are they trained in this?” Dr. Baer said.
What about the price tag? Not only are you under the doctor’s supervision, but sometimes multiple tattoo artists may be working at once.
“I think around $40,000 is kind of the price tag on some of these procedures, because it’s not something that can be done in a regular tattoo studio,” Shaw said.
The cost alone means this may not be an option for everyone.
“What seems to be happening right now is that the wealthier demographics, the celebrities, are starting to get into it because of the higher prices,” Shaw said.
Despite the cost, Dr. Baer thinks the procedure could generate more interest.
“The whole picture is done, you don’t have to come back again and again, and I can see how someone could see some value in it,” he said.
However, it also has some social aspects. Many tattoo lovers take pride in sitting through the process to create their artwork.
“You have to go through this to get to this. You have to go through the pain to get the reward of a tattoo. So when you see someone who is heavily tattooed, you know they can take pain, they know how to commit to something,” Shaw said.