Laser Vein Treatments
IPL® and Nd:YAG
Unsightly leg veins can be a problem for millions of men and women, the world over. This problem affects a wide range of age groups, skin types and lifestyles. It is estimated that in many areas over 60% of the adult population suffers from varicose veins and spider veins.
Varicose veins are enlarged vessels that have widened as a result of weakness in the vein wall, which stretches and bulges. Spider veins are the small superficial purple or red veins stretching like a web under the skin. Until now, treating varicose and spider veins was a lengthy and painful process with needles or other invasive treatments. Now, using the new combined technologies of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL®) and Nd:YAG laser treatments, unsightly leg veins of all types can be treated — simply, non-invasively, and successfully.
What types of leg veins can be treated?
Varicose veins, usually deeper blue veins, need different treatment from discolored clusters (known as "spider veins") that are near the skin surface. For this reason, our practice offers IPL® and Nd:YAG laser treatments. Your treatment may include either one or both, depending on your veins. Fortunately, there is now an effective non-invasive treatment for most cases.
Are surface veins and spider veins treated the same way?
These smaller, superficial structures require a different technology for successful treatment, not technically a laser at all, called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL®) . Smaller surface veins are treated using light energy. The light energy is absorbed by the blood, changed to heat, and the vein is destroyed.
What technology is used for deeper blue veins?
The Nd:YAG laser is used to treat larger, deeper veins (i.e. reticular veins). These veins respond to the precise energy level and wavelength of light that is used. A small spot of laser light travels through the skin and is absorbed by the blood within the vein, on the basis of its color. The resulting heat coagulates or clots the blood and destroys the function of the vein. This process does not affect any of the surrounding tissue. Over time, the vein will be absorbed by the body and will disappear from sight.
How does high-tech laser/light technology compare to traditional sclerotherapy?
The combined light sources of IPL® and Nd:YAG offer important benefits over injection therapy. The combination of IPL® and Nd:YAG therapy allows treatment of injectable leg veins as well as matting and small spider vessels that are often too small to inject. In addition, laser / light therapy is fast, less painful, minimally invasive without needles, and typically does not require compression wrapping.
What is a treatment like? Is it painful?
A pulse of laser or Intense Pulsed Light energy may feel like a pinch similar to a snapped rubber band. Chilled gel on the skin and other techniques prevent discomfort. The entire procedure is brief and non-invasive — no needles are used at any time.
How many treatments are needed?
Many leg veins need multiple treatments, often over a few months before the effect is complete. Even small vessels often require time to resolve. Sometimes a bit of "matting" or "staining" surrounds the treated vessel. By using both IPL® and Nd:YAG technologies, we can treat the vein and this minor temporary discoloration and offer a complete, excellent outcome.
Is it right for me?
Dr. Muennich will be happy to discuss this treatment with you and decide whether you are a candidate for this procedure. For more information on IPL® solutions visit SkinandHealth.com.
What preparations must I make?
You do not have to make changes to your normal activities, before or after treatment. Prior to and following any type of laser or IPL® treatment, you must limit your exposure to the sun. Treatment should not be performed on tanned skin.