Each year millions of women and men seek treatment for unsightly spider veins and painful varicose veins. Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are those small, red, blue or purple blood vessels that appear most frequently on the face and thighs. Varicose veins are usually larger than 1/4 inch in diameter and may appear raised with a bluish color. They may also be related to more serious vein disorders and require a careful evaluation by our doctor prior to treatment.
Today’s new pulsed light sources provide safe and effective, non-surgical treatment options for the removal of spider veins. Advanced IPL leg vein treatments are performed in our office to treat the smaller veins. During your treatment, light energy is delivered through a special handpiece with filters to the targeted vein, in a series of short and/or long pulses. The light energy is absorbed by the blood vessels. This heat absorption causes a thermocoagulation (clogging) of the blood vessel, and a gradual absorption by the body.
Prior to treatment our physician will review your medical history to determine how long you have had a problem with your veins and the severity of the problem. We need to determine your skin type and if there has been any prior surgery or treatment on your veins. If there appears to be an underlying abnormality, further testing may be advised prior to your light therapy.
First we identify the veins to be treated. The larger veins are usually treated first. Using a delicate handpiece fitted with special filters, we apply intense pulsed light energy to the vein. Light therapy targets the blood pigments, causing the blood within the vein to coagulate and close down the vein. Most light therapy patients report little, if any, discomfort. Some experience a transient, mild burning sensation when we pulse the light source.
Significant improvement is realized in most cases with one or two treatments. The potential for maximum long-term resolution increases after an additional one or two treatments. However, new veins may occur and additional treatments are generally required for optimum results. These treatments may be in three to four week intervals.
Yes. IPL may be combined with sclerotherapy.
During sclerotherapy a sclerosing solution is injected into the vein through a micro-needle. The tiny needles generally cause very little pain. The sclerosing solution causes the vein to blanch (turn white), then gradually disappear. A typical treatment may last for 15 – 20 minutes and consist of multiple injections.
After our doctor performs an IPL leg vein treatment, you may be asked to wear special support hose to help keep pressure on the veins. This will help to keep the veins closed. Bruises around the treated areas usually disappear after the first week. Blistering and scabbing are unusual. A tan or brownish pigment may persist for a few weeks when larger veins are involved. While each vein may require several pulses, most disappear in 2 – 6 weeks. Keys to success with light leg vein therapy include the short-term use of compression stockings, and the avoidance of hot baths and strenuous exercise.
Patients are generally encouraged to resume most normal activities immediately. We do ask that you refrain from vigorous activities for the first 24 hours. Although your final results may not be apparent for several months, most of our patients enjoy the comfort and the look of their legs without unsightly red and blue lines.