About Laser Vein Removal
Spider and varicose veins are swollen blood vessels that can be seen through the skin and develop on the legs or face. Affected veins appear on the leg as a raised, tangled, unattractive web under the surface of the skin. These veins affect millions of men and women as a result of heredity, extended periods of standing, time, pregnancy, and hormones. Many patients affected by this problem may be embarrassed to wear shorts or show their legs.
Laser vein removal can offer patients precise results through a minimally invasive procedure that heats the vein and causes it to close rather than removing it surgically. To reduce the appearance of spider veins on the face and body, Tracy Evans, MD of Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco offers noninvasive laser vein removal for San Francisco, CA men and women. There are several types of lasers used to perform laser vein therapy so Dr. Evans will create a personalized plan based on your unique needs and goals at your consultation.
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Laser vein removal treatments at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco can improve the appearance of small to medium-sized blood vessels that are on the face and body. Commonly known as spider veins, these blood vessels are typically not a medical problem, but they can be considered unattractive. Before their treatments, many of our patients avoided wearing certain clothing (like shorts and swimsuits) or used a large amount of makeup to try to hide their veins. Laser vein removal is best for patients who:
- Are in overall good health
- Do not have a history of blood clots
- Do not smoke
- Do not have blood diseases or problems with bleeding
- Are not pregnant
As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important that you have realistic expectations about outcomes and are choosing the procedure for yourself rather than feeling pressured by others.
Dr. Evans typically performs laser vein treatment without anesthesia in our San Francisco office. Each treatment session takes fewer than 20 minutes to perform, and patients can return to work and other normal activities immediately afterward. Dr. Evans moves the laser over the area with the vein. The laser energy heats the blood vessel, which eventually closes. Patients report that they sometimes experience a slight tingling sensation during the procedure as the laser energy is delivered to the targeted vein. Other patients report a sensation similar to a rubber band being snapped on the leg. Most patients are able to tolerate this procedure very well.
What to Expect
After laser vein treatment, patients may experience slight redness and bruising, and even a slight bump, in the treated area. These symptoms are usually mild and will go away on their own within a few days. Patients who undergo laser treatment for veins may have better results if they wear compression stockings for about a week after the procedure.
Before treatment, affected veins on the surface of the skin have poor blood flow. However, the veins will begin to close after treatment as the blood flow is diverted to healthier veins. Therefore, results of this procedure are not visible right away and will instead appear gradually over the next few weeks. Depending on the size of their veins, patients often see effective results from this procedure after 2 – 6 treatments, spaced 4 – 6 weeks apart. During your initial consultation with Dr. Evans, realistic expectations will be discussed along with recommendations on how many sessions you will need to achieve your best results. New spider veins often develop over time so more treatments may be needed every few years.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does laser vein therapy cost?
Laser vein removal costs are based on how many veins are being treated and how many sessions you will need. During your initial consultation, we will evaluate the size and location of your spider veins to determine the scope of the treatment process, which will help to establish the cost. Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin offers numerous payment options, and we frequently offer specials on treatments, like laser vein removal.
Do I need laser vein removal or sclerotherapy?
Laser vein removal and sclerotherapy work in very different ways to create the same outcome: the collapse and closer of the vein. The laser works great for spider veins and other small veins that are difficult to inject. Larger veins, such as varicose veins, can respond well to the laser, but if the vein is bulging, sclerotherapy injections may be required. We will work with you to determine your best treatment choice based on your specific concerns.
What happens to the vein?
Laser vein removal treats the vein with a focused beam of light that heats up the vein, eventually causing it to collapse. The technology is very precise and is highly focused on the target area so it will not affect the nearby skin. Once the vein collapses, it will be reabsorbed by the body and disappear over the course of a few weeks.
Can I have laser vein therapy anywhere on the body?
Spider veins can be found on the face, upper thighs, back of the legs, and around the ankles. Anywhere a spider vein exists, laser vein removal can be an appropriate treatment method. Our state-of-the-art laser therapies use precision when treating the specific vein so the tissue and skin around the vein are unaffected.
Does laser vein removal hurt?
Most patients report a mild tingling or a feeling similar to a snapped rubber band right on the treatment area. These sensations are not usually described as painful and are easily tolerated during the short procedure time. Our lasers also feature built-in cooling so there is no reason to worry about discomfort or scarring from the heat.
Remove Spider Veins
Spider veins (visible blood vessels) are not usually a cause for concern, but they can be embarrassing or unwanted. At Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin, laser vein removal is a very popular treatment for both women and men who want to stop feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their veins. Schedule your consultation with Tracy Evans, MD today to take the first step toward fewer visible veins.