The Ytterbium Aluminum Garnet, or YAG laser is an eighty-thousand dollar tool responsible for turning the process of tattoo removal into a simple medical procedure costing a few hundred bucks.

Before the advent of laser tattoo removal in the early Nineties, the only options available to those wishing to get rid of their rather stubborn tattoos were skin grafts costing thousands of dollars or disfiguring home remedies such as battery acid or flame-heated spoons.

Where earlier laser treatments simply burned the tattoo away, the YAG laser is calibrated to break up or vaporize ink particles one color at a time into smaller units that the patient's own immune system can dispose of.