Laser Vein Treatment
What are varicose and spider veins veins?
Varicose veins are large distended veins that are located deeper
below the skin than spider veins. Spider veins are small, superficial
dilated veins that do not perform any useful function. Most spider
veins are caused by a hereditary weakness in the walls of small
blood vessels. Hormonal factors including puberty, pregnancy,
menopause and the use of birth control pills can increase spider
vein formation. Prolonged sitting or standing also worsens spider
What treatment is best for my varicose and spider veins?
There are two general treatment options: Conservative measures
such as compression stockings, or “corrective” methods
such as sclerotherapy, laser treatment or surgical removal. Surgery
is usually required to remove large varicose veins whereas laser
and sclerotherapy are best for spider veins. Sclerotherapy uses
a needle to inject the veins with a solution that irritates the
lining of the vein. In response, the veins collapse and are reabsorbed.
You may need many treatments and may receive many injections per
session. Bruising and hyper pigmentation can occur after sclerotherapy.
Laser therapy uses light energy to heat the vessel which destroys
the wall. The vein is absorbed over a 6-8 week period. Many veins
can be treated during one session.
What does it feel like?
Although many patients report little or no discomfort, some patients
may experience a mild stinging sensation when the laser pulse
is delivered. The cold tip of the CoolGlide hand piece helps soothe
the skin as the laser is delivered. Ice and topical anesthetics
can be used prior to a treatment.
How long do the treatments take?
Treatment time varies depending on the number and size of the
vessels to be treated. A typical treatment session is 20 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
In many cases, significant improvement is realized in as few as
1 to 2 treatments. Treatments are done at 6 to 8 week intervals.
In some cases, new spider veins may appear and therefore additional
treatments may be necessary.
What do my veins look like after a treatment?
The vein appears red and swollen for a few hours and then turns
a dark purple before it is absorbed.
Are there any special instructions after the procedure?
Pressure dressings such as ace bandages or support stockings are
sometimes recommended for the first week to reduce the bruising.
Do not take aspirin products while under treatment. Minimize sun
exposure during treatment and always apply 30 SPF sunscreen if
you are exposed to the sun between treatments. Although we encourage
you to resume normal activities almost immediately, we do ask
that you refrain from vigorous activity and prolonged standing
for 72 hours after treatment. Also avoid hot baths and hot tubs
for 72 hours after treatment.