Laser Thread Vein Treatments
What are Thread Veins?
Prominent thread veins on the surface of the skin can be due to congenital conditions, that is they 'run in the family', but they are also thought to be caused by smoking or excessive alcohol consumption and, in some cases, hormonal changes. Once thread veins are present they are almost impossible to get rid of. Laser treatment for the appropriate type of thread veins can be very successful. This is an effective way of reducing the appearance of these veins and, in some cases, they can be removed completely.
What are the areas commonly treated?
The areas which can be treated with lasers for thread veins or spider veins are the face, arms and legs.
How does laser work?
The light of the laser penetrates under the skin reaching the small red blood vessels which are the cause of the problem. The energy or heat delivered by the laser heats up the tissues, resulting in coagulation or blockage of these vessels which eventually scar and the blood flow stops. Once the blood flow stops in these vessels, the red colour disappears and the appearance of the vein is either reduced or completely eliminated. This mode of treatment can be used on all parts of the body and is most commonly used on the face, arms and legs. Depending on the size and type of the vein, different types of lasers can be used, producing excellent results.
What does laser treatment feel like?
As the light pulse is used for a fraction of a second some people feel a stinging sensation as the energy is delivered. A cooling air system is used to minimise the discomfort for patients and usually after the treatment there is little or no pain.
Do I need one treatment or more?
For most patients one or two treatments would be enough, however, during your consultation with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon an assessment will be made as to the number, size and the colour of the vessels and you will be advised as to your own treatment requirements.
How do I look and feel after the treatment?
For most patients there are few, if any, residual effects, the most common being slight reddening and local swelling in the area treated. These effects may last for a day or so. In occasional cases, temporary bruising may occur. Treatment for larger veins is a different matter and may result in some brownish pigmentation persisting for a few weeks to months; however, this is not the case for smaller thread veins. For larger veins the patient may be asked to wear a compression garment for a period of time.
How do I care for the area after the treatment?
For the vast majority of patients after treatment for thread veins you can return to normal activity; however, it is recommended that strenuous or vigorous exercise is avoided for the first 24 hours. For areas which are exposed to the sun, a sun screen is recommended.
When will I see the results?
For most of the patients after treatment the area shows significant improvement within two to six weeks; however, the final result may not appear for several months. It is possible over time for new veins to appear but these can be treated with laser as well.
Can laser be used to treat port wine stains?
Port wine stains or some haemangiomas respond well to laser treatment. It is important to have a consultation with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon to get an assessment and recommendation as to what type of laser would be more suitable and what sort of results can be achieved.
Can laser be used for larger leg veins?
In general, the smaller the vein the more effective the laser therapy. Larger veins may respond better to sclerotherapy or even surgery for large longitudinal veins, known as varicose veins.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a solution through a micro-needle into the blood vessels. As a result of this injection, the lining of blood vessels collapses which results in occlusion of the vessels. It is a simple, virtually painless procedure.
Where is the treatment undertaken?
Advanced laser treatments are available in our clinic in the centre of Liverpool. The clinic is based in Knight Street, just off Rodney Street. For more information or to book an appointment, contact the clinic on 0151 669 1112.