Millions of women and men are bothered by unsightly spider veins on their faces and legs.
Spider veins, or telangiectasia, are those small red, blue or purple blood vessels that appear most frequently on the face and thighs. Spider veins are treated by Dr. DeEtta Gray in her Bellveue office.
Varicose veins are usually larger than 1/4 inch in diameter and typically appear raised with a bluish color. They may also be related to other vein disorders and require a careful evaluation by Dr. Gray prior to treatment of spider veins. Varicose veins will require assessment and treatment by a vascular surgeon in Bellevue.
Laser Vein Therapy
Today’s new medical lasers provide safe and effective non-surgical treatment options for treatment of telangiectasia on the face and some spider and veins on the legs. New, advanced laser treatments are performed by Dr. Gray for patients in our region to deliver a precise dosage of energy to each telangiectasia or spider vein. During your treatment, light energy is delivered through a special laser handpiece to the targeted vein, in a series of brief pulses. The light energy is absorbed by the blood vessels, but not the surrounding tissue. This heat absorption causes a coagulation of the blood vessel, which is subsequently absorbed by your body. Lasers are not used to treat larger reticular veins or varicose veins.
Will Laser Vein Therapy work on my veins?
Prior to treatment Dr. Gray 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. We may test to determine if there are any underlying venous problems. If there are, further testing may be advised before laser vein therapy is attempted. You may require referral to a vascular surgeon in our area.
What are Laser Vein Treatments like?
First, we will identify the veins to be treated. We then proceed to deliver pulses of light (laser) energy along the length of the vessel, larger veins first. The light energy causes the blood within the vein to coagulate, eventually destroying the vessels, which are then absorbed by your body. Most laser therapy patients report little discomfort. Some experience a mild hot snap sensation when we pulse the laser and mild burning after the treatment.
How many Laser Vein Treatments will I need?
The number of treatments required varies with the size and depth of each vein. For the maximum long-term resolution, multiple treatments may be necessary. However, if new veins appear, additional treatments are required. Treatments may be in 3 – 4 week intervals.
Are there other treatments available for spider and varicose veins?
Yes. Sclerotherapy is the procedure of choice for treatment of spider and reticular veins and varicose veins. During sclerotherapy, an FDA approved sclerosing solution is injected into the vein through a micro-needle. The tiny needles generally cause minimal discomfort. The sclerosing solution causes the vein to blanch (turn white), then become slightly swollen, pink and bruised looking. Over the next few weeks the veins gradually disappear. A typical treatment may last for 15 – 30 minutes and consist of multiple injections. Medical grade compression stockings must be worn for two weeks after the procedure, but patients may exercise after 24 hours.
What is recovery from Laser Vein Treatments like?
After Dr. Gray performs your laser treatment, you will be asked to wear support hose or special heavy duty stockings to help keep pressure on the veins. This will help keep the treated veins closed. Bruises around the treated areas usually disappear after the first week. A tan or brownish pigment may persist for a few weeks when larger veins are involved. While each vein may require several pulses from the laser, most will disappear in 2 – 6 weeks. Keys to success with laser leg vein therapy include the avoidance of hot baths and strenuous exercise, and includes the short-term use of compression stockings.
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 legs without unsightly red, blue and purple veins.