While not dangerous to your health, visible veins can be bothersome in appearance. With the Spectrum Long Pulsed Yag laser, both spider and other vascular malformations can be significantly improved.
What is the Long Pulsed Yag Laser?
The Long Pulsed Yag uses laser light to heat visible veins. Once optimal heating is reached, the vein becomes damaged and is then broken down and naturally eliminated by the body. Long Pulse Yag is designed to treat several different types of blood vessels of the face and legs. Common facial vascular malformation such as telangectasias (spider veins), rosacea, hemangiomas, and hematomas are easily treated. Other vascular conditions such as Port Wine Malformations are treated with our Candela V-Beam Laser which is designed specifically for this condition. Leg veins must be 3mm or smaller to be effectively treated. The Long Pulse Yag is not suitable for varicose veins.
Who is a Candidate for Laser Vein Treatment?
Candidates for laser vein treatment are those who are bothered by the appearance of veins, commonly in the face or legs. Spider veins often occur on the face and legs and appear as tiny red lines resembling spider legs. Laser vein treatment works best on these veins There are a number of factors that can contribute to the appearance of veins including heredity, obesity, and hormone fluctuations with pregnancy, puberty, or menopause. Long Pulse Yag treatments can be done on all skin types however, patients with a Fitzpatrick 4 or higher are at higher risk for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation requiring extra diligent post treatment care. A skin assessment will be conducted at your consultation to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.
If you have taken Isotretinoin (Accutane) in the last 12-months or are currently on Minocin or Doxycycline you cannot receive treatment. If you have an active herpes simplex outbreak in the treatment area, you should wait to have a treatment. An anti-viral will be prescribed for your next treatment to minimize the chance of another outbreak. We do not recommend Long Pulse Yag treatments for patients that are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
How do I Prepare for Treatment?
You cannot be tanned, use self-tanners, or be sunburnt prior to or during the course of treatment. If treating the face and you are using aggressive skincare products such as retinols, skin exfoliants, or other aggressive skincare products you must discontinue use at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. Your skin must be completely clean and free of any lotions, perfumes or makeup on the day of your treatment. Keep in mind that you may experience some swelling and bruising. The fall, winter, and spring are the best time to treat leg veins.
What is the Procedure Like?
Before Long Pulsed Yag treatment, a cooling gel will be applied to your skin and you will be given eye protection. Laser vein treatment with Long Pulsed Yag is noninvasive, using laser light energy directed at the treatment area. During treatment, a laser handpiece is used to zap your veins, closing them off and minimizing their appearance. Patients report a snapping feeling during the process, however, anesthesia is typically not required. A cooling gel will also be used prior to treatment to protect your skin and maximize your comfort.
There is minor discomfort for most vascular treatments. A cooling head is integrated into the head of the device. Prior to treating the area, it is briefly chilled and immediately followed by a treatment pulse. When treating vascular areas, we do not want to constrict the blood vessels. Excessive cooling or numbing agents can restrict the blood vessels and should be avoided. Post treatment cooling relieves any discomfort. An ice pack can be applied after the treatment to help with any discomfort due to swelling.
The number of treatments would be dependent on the size of the blood vessels. Smaller vessels will likely require fewer treatments while larger, more stubborn, vessels may require more. Sessions are usually spaced 8-12 weeks apart. It is important to remember that the underlying condition that caused these vessels in the first place has not been resolved so patients prone to this condition will likely develop new vessels over time and may want to retreat.
What are my Post-Treatment Care Instructions?
You can expect minor swelling and redness that can last a couple of hours. You will likely have bruising associated with this procedure; this is normal. You may experience minor discomfort which can be treated using ice packs or over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Mortin. If scabs develop, do not pick or scratch the treated areas. Doing so could cause scarring to the area. Avoid hot tubs, saunas, hot showers, alcohol, aspirin, Advil or blood thinners for 5-days following treatment as doing so can diminish results. If the face was treated, avoid harsh facial products such as retinols, exfoliants, loofah sponges etc. If treating legs, avoid exercise, long periods of standing or walking for 7-days following treatment. Compression stockings can be used continuously for 3-5 days following leg treatments. Avoid direct sun exposure and use a good sunblock containing 9% zinc or higher. Be sure to schedule this procedure during a time that you can comply with these restrictions.
What Results can I Expect?
After laser vein treatment, you can expect some side effects such as redness and swelling. Over the next few weeks, your body will continue to break down the treated veins, minimizing their appearance. While some can see results after just one treatment, several sessions may be required to treat larger veins. Sessions will be spaced out to allow the skin time to heal. While laser vein treatment can reduce the appearance of current veins, it cannot prevent future veins from appearing. Patients can opt for laser vein treatment in the future to maintain their smooth skin.
Patricia Ferguson, R.N. has worked with Dr. Stanislaw since 2004 and is responsible for providing Long Pulse Yag treatments. To find out if your veins can be treated with a laser treatment, contact our office. We can schedule your consultation to determine the best course of treatment for you.
At the time of your consultation, you will be provided a quote which will be honored for 1-year.