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Spider veins are wavy, thin, reddish-purple veins that are visible on the legs. Often they are clustered on the thigh or below the knee.
Spider veins, or telangiectasias, affect as many as 80% of all women as they grow older, and a large percentage of men too. The cause is largely genetic, although other culprits include pregnancy, childbirth, use of birth-control pills, estrogen-replacement therapy, previous injury, and the use of corticosteroids.
Telangiectasias are not usually a medical problem, but they may make you reluctant to wear a bathing suit or a pair of shorts.
In the past, there was little you could do about spider veins. But now laser technology has revolutionized treatment so that many spider veins can be virtually erased.
Understanding Leg Telangiectasias
Leg telangiectasias are not varicose or deep veins but superficial veins that have become permanently dilated. One treatment is electrodessication, which involves zapping the vein shut with electric current, but it can leave pitted white scarring. Another common treatment is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a solution into the vein to make it collapse, but treatment is not always successful.
VersaPulse®, the New Treatment Option
Now, the new VersaPulse® Aesthetic Laser, is a state-of-the-art system that has been specially designed to treat spider veins and other vascular lesions.
The VersaPulse Advantage
The VersaPulse Aesthetic Laser produces short, adjustable pulses of light to treat a wide range of vessel diameters at various skin depths. The adjustable pulses minimize the risk of the purplish bruising (purpura) that is a side effect of other lasers.
The special VersaSpot Chilled Tip™ cools the skin during treatment, enhancing patient comfort. The entire treatment involves no incisions or injections.
What You Can Expect
Laser treatments for leg telangiectasias depend on the quantity, size, and depth of the veins. Most patients need between one and three 15 - 30-minute sessions. Sessions are usually spaced 8 - 12 weeks apart and are performed in the Lourdes Ophthalmology Surgery / Laser Treatment Center.
The laser treatment itself feels like numerous little pin pricks. Many patients do not require anesthesia during the procedure. Topical or local anesthesia is provided for those who do.
The appearance of the treated area immediately after a laser session will vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of treatment. Immediate after-effects, if any, are minor. They may include redness or tenderness, both of which disappear in a short time. Your physician will be happy to tell you more about your treatment and what you can expect.
For more information, call Lourdes Ophthalmology Surgery / Laser Treatment Center at 607-798-5991.