Laser Vein Therapy: Everything You Need to Know
What is laser vein therapy?
Laser vein therapy is a non-invasive treatment that utilizes light energy (laser light/beam) to get rid of unwanted veins. Laser vein therapy is by far the most popular and effective treatment for spider veins. Before getting into more detail about the treatment, let’s take a step back and discuss varicose veins and spider veins briefly.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins refer to enlarged veins which look like cords and appear to be twisted and bulging. The veins are usually blue, red or flesh-coloured. They appear on areas such as the thighs or at the back of the calves. Varicose veins also form around the stomach and buttocks of pregnant women.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small varicose veins. They can also be differentiated by the fact that they form closer to the skin’s surface compared to varicose veins. Spider veins resemble tree branches or spider webs hence the name spider veins. The veins are common on the face and legs. Spider veins can also be differentiated by the fact that they are a more common vein problem than varicose veins. We only treat spider veins which are smaller than 5mm.
Not all veins are varicose or spider veins
Sometimes a person can mistake a healthy vein for a varicose or spider vein. Some people may have veins that can simply appear large and are noticeable. We do not "treat" healthy veins.
Prevalence of spider veins
The high prevalence of spider veins makes laser vein therapy a very common treatment method especially among those people looking to effectively get rid of the problem once and for all. According to statistics, 50-55% of women will suffer from spider veins. This is compared to 40-45% of men.
Causes of spider veins
Spider veins are caused by damaged or weak valves in the veins which hinder proper blood flow. When blood flows backwards because of damaged or weak valves, veins in the affected areas i.e. the legs veins bulge and become noticeable.
Spider veins result when blood backs up in a small scale. Hormonal changes, injuries, and exposure to the sun can also cause spider veins. Although there are a number of ways of minimizing or getting rid of spider veins, our focus will be on the most effective method i.e. laser vein therapy.
How laser vein therapy works
Laser vein therapy is a very simple treatment procedure that involves applying a laser beam on top of spider veins. The treatment is carried using specialized machines such as the Cutera Excel XEO which is in fact one of the best (if not the best) laser vein therapy machine available today. The laser machine transmits photons which are absorbed by the red blood cells inside the veins being treated. The red blood cells then coagulates the blood cells in the vein. The body treats the coagulated blood as waste and gets rid of it.
The damaged veins shrink and eventually dissolve disappearing with time. Blood flow is then redirected to veins located deeper (below the skin’s surface) where it should be.
Preparing for the treatment
Treatment commences when you visit a specialist. Laser Plus Clinic has highly trained and skilled technicians capable of diagnosing and treating spider veins. A technician will review consult with you, as well as, look at the area in question. The technician will also let you know what you should avoid before treatment.
For instance, you should avoid; sunbathing, waxing and tanning two weeks before the procedure.
You should also avoid certain medication i.e. aspirin, herbal supplements, vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Certain drugs can increase the risk of bruising.
Avoid things that thin your blood. When blood is thinner, it is harder for blood to coagulate. Therefore the treatment is less effective.
A person who has diabetes needs to disclose this.
Please see our resources page on pre and post treatment for Laser Vein Therapy.
What to expect during treatment
Laser vein therapy doesn’t hurt/shouldn’t hurt. You could experience a mild, tingly sensation during treatment when the laser machine is delivering laser energy pulses to the veins. Any tingly feeling would not last long, at most 2-3 hours after treatment. Although no pain medication or local anesthesia is needed, we use ice packs on the treatment area before treatment. Some people take 2 regular strength Tylenols an hour before treatment; however, this depends on the person. In regards to time, the treatment time depends on the size of the area in question, colour and size of veins among other factors.
Treatment of Port Wine Stain on Young Girl
This young girl had 2 treatments and the photo on the right was taken 5 weeks after the last treatment.
What to expect after treatment
Final results can occur immediately; however, depending on the vein size, it could take a period of time. To get the best results, patients usually need to undergo multiple treatments. However, most patients need one or two treatment sessions.
In regards to the post procedural issues to expect, you should expect a mild tingly sensation on the treated area. The sensation however lasts for a few hours only (4-6 hours only) after treatment. The best and fastest results can only be guaranteed by the best laser vein therapy machines i.e. the Cutera Excel XEO.
Possible laser vein therapy risks
Like any other treatment, laser vein therapy is associated with some risks. Always seek out a qualified and trained professional, like at Laser Plus Clinic.
Some of the possible risks of the treatment include; mild pain/swelling, scarring, crusting and discolouration.
Who could seek the treatment?
Laser vein therapy is fine for people of any age. Babies and young children can be treated. The treatment should however be avoided by people who are diabetic, or pregnant.
Treatment Hemagioma on young boy
The picture on the right was taken 43 days after the one treatment.
Cost of treatment
The cost of laser vein therapy varies depending on many factors the most notable being the size of the treatment area. The cost also varies depending on where you get treatment, machine used etc.
It’s also important to note that the treatment is regarded as a cosmetic procedure. As a result, the cost of treatment may not be covered by most medical insurance companies.
Laser Vein Therapy Price
For all skin tones and types.
$100 per 15 minutes of laser treatment.
Special Deal until May 15, 2016
$25 off your total treatment price. This Special Deal is for newsletter subscribers only. Sign up for the newsletter to get the discount. Our newsletter is an easy one-click unsubscribe if you change your mind.
Spider veins is a very common vein problem. Laser vein therapy is the best and most effective treatment available for spider veins.
See the Laser Vein Therapy video.
If you have any questions, please give us a call or fill out our contact form.