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Spider & Varicose Vein Treatment

It is estimated that over 50 million Americans are bothered by the appearance of veins on their thighs, calves, and ankles. These veins can either be small, thin capillaries (spider veins) or larger veins that we call reticular veins. The very largest veins are called varicose veins. There are many factors that contribute to the development of these unsightly veins including pregnancy, weight gain, prolonged standing, and even genetics.

Spider veins form when excess blood backs up in the blood stream. The body releases this pressure by developing new veins. Not only are spider veins unsightly, but they can also cause aching, swelling, burning, and night cramps in the legs. Reticular veins are those blue veins that lie well below the skin's surface and are larger than the spider veins. They often are the source of spider veins and must also be removed in order to achieve a long-term result in your treatment.

Unlike prior lasers, we can treat any skin type and even tanned skin. Most treatments last only 15 minutes. During your initial consultation, we will be able to estimate the cost of your treatments and tailor the treatments to your needs. As always, consultations are always free.

 

About the Procedure

Laser Vein Therapy

Laser vein removal is surprisingly easy, fast, and effective. The laser light achieves vein removal by destroying the vein without burning the skin above. The laser will shoot a concentrated beam of light that passes through your surface skin and is preferentially absorbed by the hemoglobin in the vein. When the light is absorbed, it is converted to heat, a process that is similar to what happens inside a car that has been sitting in the sun. As the sun shines light into the car, the light is absorbed by the seats, wheel, and dashboard. It is then converted to heat, making them hot to the touch. The same happens to the vein. As the vein is gently heated (a process that occurs in 50 milliseconds or 1/20th of a second), the walls of the vein collapse and thus blood flow is stopped. Over a period of three to four weeks, the vein is re-absorbed by the body and disappears.

The use of a laser for vein removal requires knowledge and expertise. Our staff is trained to use the best laser and the proper settings for each size vein. During your treatment, you will feel a slight tingling sensation as the laser fires. The skin above the veins will have a reddish, cat-scratch appearance. This generally disappears over the next two days. Sometimes we apply a local anesthetic cream over the proposed treatment area if you find the sensation is uncomfortable. You can expect to return immediately to you normal daily activities, although we do recommend elevation of the treated areas that day to enhance the treatment's success.

The risks associated with laser vein therapy are minimal and similar to the risks of laser hair removal. Your eyes will be shielded during the treatments. There is a small risk of pigment changes, which can be reduced by avoiding prolonged sun exposure during the treatments. Our physicians and aestheticians will fully inform you of the risks associated with laser vein therapy and answer any questions during your initial consultation. Finally, because we use state-of-the-art cooling systems, you will find your treatments low risk and relatively pain-free.

Sclerotherapy

Injection vein therapy, or sclerotherapy, is the most common treatment for leg veins. It is a procedure used to treat unwanted spider and reticular veins. Sclerotherapy works by irritating the lining of the vessels causing them to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Most patients can expect a 50-90% improvement in the appearance of the veins. We use a unique solution that is similar to a local anesthetic. The solution is injected into the vessel with a very fine needle. Occasionally, a vessel may have to be injected more than once. This solution acts to inflame the vessel and cause it to dry up and eventually disappear.

As in laser vein therapy, you will notice a red, cat-scratch appearance after your treatment, similar to an allergic reaction. You may also notice some minor muscle cramping. There is minimal discomfort with the injections (we use a very small needle) and the treatment may take three to four weeks before the vein disappears.

After your treatment, we advise no prolonged sun exposure and elevation for the remainder of the day. You can, of course, return to normal activity if you wish. We do ask that you refrain from vigorous activities and hot baths for two days after your treatment.

 

FAQs

Are these vein treatments permanent?

The removal of spider and reticular leg veins is not an exact science. Most patients achieve a significant reduction in the appearance of their veins and are very satisfied with the treatments. Of course, aging begins the moment the treatment ends. In addition, other factors such as standing and genetics continue. We recommend a single yearly treatment to "clean up" any new veins that appear.

Are the treatments painful?

Most patients describe a tingling sensation during the brief time the laser is actually firing. However, because we offer cooling systems and topical anesthetic cream, our patients are quite comfortable during their treatments.

Are the treatments safe?

As in laser hair removal, there are a few uncommon risks associated with both laser and injection vein therapy. These include pigment changes and blistering. However, because our physicians and aestheticians are specially trained in the use of the lasers and injection therapy, the occurrence of these events is rare. Additionally, your eyes will be shielded during all treatments.

How long do the treatments take and how many treatments will I need?

Each treatment session generally lasts fifteen minutes. We can treat a significant number of veins during that session. Typically, you can expect to need two to three sessions to achieve the appearance you desire. Of course, you can stop treatments at any time or continue with additional treatments should you desire.

Is financing available?

YES! We offer patient financing right here on our website. It is best if you take the time to fill out your request on-line so you quickly get approval and arrive at your appointment ready to be treated.

 

Pre and Post Treatment Instructions

Pre-treatment

  • In order to achieve the best success, we advise the use of tight-fitting support hose (20-30psi) for three days after your treatment. You should purchase these and bring them with you for your appointment.

  • Avoid active tanning prior to your treatment.


Post-treatment

  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure after your treatments.

  • Keep the treatment site moist with Aquaphor or an anti-biotic ointment for the first 48 hours after treatment.

  • Avoid vigorous exercise and hot tub baths for 48 hours after your treatment

  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or Advil for 48 hours after your treatment.

 

For more on vein treatment, click here.

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