Laser treatment for veins works by directing very strong bursts of light on to unwanted veins on your face and body that cause the vein to gradually fade and eventually disappear. Lasers are very direct and accurate and only affect the area being treated, as such they are a very safe treatment. However, be warned that not all skin types and colours can always be safely treated with lasers. A qualified cosmetic doctor, aesthetic nurse, dermatologist or vascular surgeon would be able to assess your suitability for this treatment. The treatment is usually very quick and can be likened to the sensation of being flicked with an elastic band. Alternatives to this treatment include sclerotherapy, microsclerotherapy and microwave treatment.
Am I a Candidate? There are a variety of light systems on the market that are designed to treat visible veins. Ideal candidates for laser vein removal are those with spider or thread veins on the face or body, or varicose veins.
Before Treatment Your first discussion with a practitioner should clearly set out your expectations so that your practitioner can identify the correct laser vein removal treatment to achieve the results you require.
During Treatment A laser vein removal procedure involves the application of an anaesthetic cream 20 minutes prior to treatment to help numb the skin. You will then be required to wear eye protectors for all laser machines. Depending upon the type of light system used, you may experience a slight stinging sensation when the flash of light is delivered to the treated area. The entire procedure may last 15-30 minutes depending on the type and extent of the skin problem treated. 1 – 5 treatment sessions may be required for optimum results.
Recovery Most patients will be able to return to work immediately following a laser vein removal procedure.
Benefits The development of lasers has allowed practitioners to treat spider or thread veins and varicose veins safely and effectively.
Risks and Complications Depending on the type of light treatment used and what area of your body you are having treated, some mild stinging or burning may be noticed during the procedure, and the area treated may feel hot for around 15 minutes after treatment. Most patients will experience some skin redness in the treated area which will fade over the next hour or so. Post-treatment risks and side effects can include skin discoloration and scaling that usually fades over a period of weeks.
Cost Prices for laser vein removal sessions involving small areas may cost in the region of £100 per session, whereas major treatment on large areas can cost up to £400 per session.
Choosing a Practitioner Generally light systems for the treatment of veins are only used by trained doctors, surgeons or nurses. Please also note that all clinics offering laser treatments should be registered with the Care Quality Commission to ensure they are following certain standards for the safe operation and maintenance of these machines.