Laser For Leg Veins
Spider veins or telangiectasias are those small red, blue and purple blood vessels that appear most frequently on the legs and thighs. These spider veins are entirely asymptomatic and only of a cosmetic concern.
Laser treatments are being used as an alternative or to complement sclerotherapy for small veins or spider veins. Laser therapy is most effective for small and medium size spider veins. Large spider veins respond poorly and are best treated with sclerotherapy.
During laser therapy, light energy is delivered through a small laser hand piece to a targeted vein, in a series of brief pulses. The energy is then absorbed by the blood vessels. The heat/energy absorption causes a thermo coagulation (clogging) of the blood vessel. Clogged vessels are then slowly absorbed by the body. Most patients describe the sensation to be like the snap of a rubber band on the skin. The laser beam is focused and does not damage the nearby skin tissue.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 laser 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. Over a period of four to six weeks, the vein is reabsorbed by the body and disappears. Several treatments are usually needed for optimal results. Unfortunately, medical insurances do not cover laser vein treatments.
Although relatively safe side effects include recurrence, matting (formation of small veins surrounding treated area), discoloration and rarely scarring.