Laser treatment uses an extremely focussed beam of energy which is applied to tissue to achieve a desirable outcome on your skin or vein. It’s extremely important to understand that laser’s used in vein treatments are very different in their use. Simple lasers are used to treat spider veins on the surface of your leg, whilst endovenous lasers are a more invasive medical procedure. They involve feeding a laser into a large varicose veins. One is a cosmetic procedure whilst the other is a formal medical procedure.
Simple laser treatment (Outside the body)
A number of lasers can be used (including NdYag and IPL’s) by your cosmetic physician or dermatologist on the outside of your skin. Usually only spider veins and reticular veins can only be treated, which are just under the skin surface. The laser selectively targets these small veins and damages them before they are absorbed by the body. Many sessions are usually required with a 6 -12 week interval between them. If there is a larger “feeder” vein this must be treated first with endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation.
Endovenous laser treatment (Inside the body)
Endovenous laser treatment treats larger varicose veins in the legs. The method of treatment is by passing a laser fibre into the vein and sealing the vein from the inside out. This medical procedure is extremely effective and performed using an ultrasound machine so that the doctor can precisely monitor the treatment. Only one treatment for the vein is required usually under local anaesthesia which can be a little “stingy” in some patients.
Summary of Endovenous Laser Ablation Differences.
|Endovenous Laser Ablation||Simple Laser|
|Vein Type||Varicose Veins||Reticular Veins or|
|Price||$$$$$ (Thousands)||$$ (Hundreds)|
Can I treat All My Veins with Laser Technology?
Unfortunately most people will require more treatment with sclerotherapy. This is because endovenous laser ablation treats veins which are deep and simple lasers treat veins which are tiny and on the surface. There is a middle layer which will usually be treated with sclerotherapy by your doctor.
Why don’t some doctors use simple lasers?
Using simple lasers for spider veins and reticular veins is usually not as good as simple sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy can unlike simple lasers treat both the spider vein and it’s “feeder” vein. Additionally the costs of lasers can be quite high after multiple sessions are required.
Should I have an ultrasound before laser treatment?
Generally most doctors recommend having an ultrasound assessment to make sure that there are no inside varicose veins which would require treatment before any spider veins are treated. Treating spider veins before varicose veins is usually ineffective and at best temporary.