Altus CoolGlide™ Laser treatment is a safe, effective, quick, and gentle method for removal of unwanted blood vessels (veins). One to three laser treatments can greatly improve the appearance of skin which is disfigured by unwanted blood vessels.
How is laser technology used safely to remove unsightly spider veins?
The laser beam passes through the skin to the targeted blood vessels where the energy is absorbed by the pigment in the blood. Without affecting the surrounding skin the laser energy causes selective damage to the lining of the blood vessel, which causes the unsupported vein walls to collapse. These veins then dissolve and disappear as the body absorbs them during the natural healing process.
Exactly what are spider veins anyway?
Spider veins are small, dilated blood vessels that appear red or blue. These vessels, each about the size of a large hair, may be short, unconnected lines, or they may be connected in a matted “sunburst” pattern. They may also resemble a spider web or a tree with branches. Although spider veins can appear anywhere on the body, they are usually found on the face and legs. In most cases, they pose no health hazard but may cause a dull aching or burning in the legs after prolonged standing.
How did I get spider veins?
Although the cause of spider veins is not completely known, in many instances there appears to be a genetic predisposition. Reports have also shown that pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain, leg injury, or prolonged standing may influence the occurrence of spider veins.
What should I expect during treatment?
You will be asked to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any exposure to laser light.
A small area will be tested to determine the proper laser settings for your treatment. The laser light will be delivered through a small hand-piece that touches your skin. The surface of the skin is protected by a cooling gel and by a gold plated cooling head which glides over the skin immediately ahead of the laser beam.
Individual comfort levels vary as treatment progresses. A pulse of laser light is mildly uncomfortable, but tolerable, and is often described as feeling like the snap of a rubber band against the skin. Cool compresses and a soothing lotion will be applied to the treated area.
How long do treatments take?
That depends on how many veins a client chooses to have treated during a particular session. Each pulse of the laser beam delivers energy to a large area, so it takes only seconds or minutes to treat each spider vein.
How many treatments do I need?
Clients frequently find that one treatment is sufficient. However, for optimal results several treatments may be necessary. The actual number of treatments depends on the number of blood vessels being treated and the size and color of the vessels.
The procedure will diminish or completely eliminate the treated veins; however, laser treatment cannot prevent new spider veins from developing. Clients who are prone to the development of spider veins may choose to return for further treatments if and when new spider veins appear.
Do the treatments hurt?
Most patients experience a stinging sensation as the laser energy is delivered to the blood vessel. The skin will be cooled frequently to minimize discomfort. Following the treatment, the discomfort is minimal to nonexistent.
What will happen after treatment?
Smaller spider veins may disappear immediately after treatment. It may take the body days or weeks to fully absorb larger, more noticeable veins. Initially, there may be redness, swelling, or bruising of the area treated. The redness and swelling will typically subside within a few hours to a few days. The treated vessels may appear a bit darker for the next week or two. Complete healing may take from one to three months.
There are no post-treatment restrictions on a client’s normal activities. It is recommended that clients avoid strenuous exercise or activities for the first 24 hours after treatment.
What are the possible side effects?
Side effects are rare and usually temporary. Initially there may be redness and swelling, which will gradually subside over the next several days. Occasionally there can be increased or decreased pigment in the treated area, which generally resolves within a few weeks. Bruising may occur and rarely a blister.
How long do the results last?
Realistic expectations are important for spider vein removal treatments. After one or two treatments on the face, or one to four treatments on the legs, the total number of bothersome blood vessels is greatly reduced–generally by 70 to 90 percent. The re-growth of vessels after treatment is highly individual and depends on your genetic predisposition, the use of certain medications, and hormone levels. External factors such as sun exposure can also speed up the appearance of new vessels on the face and legs.
Are there alternatives other than laser treatment to eliminate my spider veins?
Sclerotherapy is the most common alternative treatment for spider veins. This procedure involves inserting a needle into the unwanted blood vessel and injecting an irritating solution. The body detects the damage to the vessel and re-absorbs it as part of the natural healing process. It can take up to six months for the treated veins to disappear. Post-treatment care may include bandages and support hose for up to two weeks after treatment.
The primary benefits of laser removal of unwanted blood vessels over sclerotherapy are:
- Laser therapy is faster with less discomfort.
- Small vessels which are difficult or impossible to treat with sclerotherapy respond quite well to laser treatment.
- Because sclerotherapy involves an injection with an irritating solution, there is an increased risk of bruising or infection.
- Because the skin is not broken with laser treatment, there is no need for bandages, tape, or support stockings after treatment.
How much does laser treatment for spider veins cost?
Laser vein treatments are priced according to the size and complexity of the area treated. Our prices are competitive, and discounts are available to clients who purchase packages or who have multiple areas treated during one session. These details will be discussed with you during your complimentary consultation.
We accept Visa and MasterCard. Most health insurance plans and policies do not cover these procedures. Please consult your carrier for more information.