Laser Ablation of Spider Veins

Additional Information

The D940 laser system produces the highly unique 940 NM wavelength, which safely passes through the skin and is selectively absorbed by the targeted blood vessel. The vein will gradually disappear, leaving the skin intact.

Men, women and even children, including light and dark-pigmented individuals, can be successfully treated. Your skin is cooled with ice or a cold compress [in some cases a topical anesthesia] to minimize the mild heat sensation. The length and number of procedures vary, but usually last between 15 and 30 minutes each and are normally done in two or three appointments.

Side effects are uncommon and usually minimal. Patients often experience a slight redness following treatment - but this goes away within a few days. The institute will clearly explain what to expect and provide detailed instructions for you following treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Laser and Pulsed Light treatments are being used as an alternative to or to complement sclerotherapy for small veins or spider veins. They all work on the same basic principle: a light beam is pulsed onto the veins in order to seal them off, causing them to dissolve. Successful light-based treatment requires adequate heating of the veins. Several treatments are usually needed for optimal results. 

Which Lasers are Used?
There are a variety of lasers and light sources being used to treat surface leg veins. These include, but are not limited to the long-pulse alexandrite, diode and long-pulse Nd; Yag lasers as well as intense pulsed light devices. These light devices are generally used with cooling of the top skin layer with cool gel, chilled air or other cooling methods. Cooling helps to reduce discomfort and lowers the risk of injuring the skin.

What are spider veins?
Millions of women and men are bothered by unsightly spider veins on their faces and legs. Spider veins or telangiectasias are those small red, blue and purple blood vessels that appear most frequently on the face and thighs. These spider veins are entirely asymptomatic and only of a cosmetic concern.

What is the best treatment for spider veins?
The best and gold standard treatment for spider veins is laser. Laser vein removal is an easy, fast, and effective way to treat superficial veins Laser therapy has been used in the medicine for more than 30 years. Advances in technology have helped developed many different lasers. The laser uses a focused beam of light. In the treatment of veins, the wavelength of light is targeted to the pigment in the blood. The laser heats up the small vein and destroys it. The laser beam is focused and does not damage the nearby skin tissue. Over a period of four to six weeks, the vein is reabsorbed by the body and disappears.

How does the laser work?
During laser therapy, light energy is delivered through a small laser hand piece to a targeted vein, in a series of brief pulses. The light energy is absorbed by the lining of the blood vessels and the blood within the blood vessels. The heat generated causes a coagulation (clotting) of the blood, which is subsequently absorbed by the body. The advanced laser treatments allow the delivery of a precise dosage of energy to each blood vessel.

How do I know if I am a candidate for laser vein treatment?
All individuals are evaluated prior to laser therapy. Spider veins do not cause symptoms and are of a cosmetic concern only. For those who have symptoms, further investigation is done to ensure that they do not have varicose veins. Laser therapy is most effective for the very small spider veins and not used to treat large varicose veins.

Do I require a preparation before laser therapy?
There is no prior preparation required before laser therapy. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office or clinic and usually takes less than 10-20 minutes.

What happens during the laser therapy?
Only the very small superficial veins are treated with a laser. Generally no anesthetic is required for the procedure.  The laser has a specialized chilled hand piece which acts to cool the surface of the skin while the beam from the laser penetrates the skin. Pulses of light energy are then administered in a sequential fashion.

Is laser therapy painful?
During your treatment, you will feel a slight tingling sensation as the laser fires. If the individual feels any pain, a topical local anesthetic is applied 20 minutes before the procedure.

When do the spider veins disappear?
The majority of the treated spider veins will disappear within two to three treatments. The treatments can be spaced four to six weeks apart. If new veins appear, additional treatments are required for optimum results. The treatments may be spaced every three to four week intervals.

What are side effects of laser therapy?
The skin above the veins will have a reddish, cat-scratch appearance. This generally disappears over the next two days.

What happens after laser therapy?
Patients are encouraged to resume all normal activities immediately. Final results may not be apparent for several months. Most patients are satisfied by the results in a very short time.

Are there any other risks with laser therapy?
The risks associated with laser vein therapy are minimal. Your eyes will be shielded during the treatments. Most facilities use state-of-the-art cooling systems, thus the treatments are low risk and relatively pain-free.

How many treatments will I need?
Depending on the size and number of veins, two to six treatments will be needed.