Laser Vein Therapy
Laser Vein Therapy for the Face and Body to treat a broad range of visible blood vessels from tiny spider veins or “telangiectasias” to deep blue reticular veins quickly, safely and effectively in all skin types. Patients with port wine stains and other vascular lesions respond well to Coolglide™ Vein Therapy usually with just one treatment. The CoolGlide™ system delivers pulses of light energy, which cause the blood within the vein to coagulate, eventually destroying the vessel, which is later absorbed by your body. Blood flow will then be redirected to veins deeper below your skin’s surface, just where it should be. Patients normally resume routine activities immediately. However, it is recommended that you avoid vigorous activities such as strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours after treatment. Patients often find that 1-2 treatments are sufficient. However, the number of treatments necessary depends on the number, color, and size of the vessels being treated. The majority of patients see significant improvement within 2-6 weeks of treatment. However, your final result may not be apparent for several months.
HOW DOES CUTERA COOLGLIDE™ LASER REMOVE UNWANTED BLOOD VESSELS?
The Cutera CoolGlide™ laser is a noninvasive light therapy device specifically designed to eliminate undesired blood vessels from all parts of the body.
This laser energy passes through the skin to the blood vessels, which you wish to have eliminated, where the energy is absorbed by pigment in the blood, causing selective damage to the lining of the target blood vessel without damaging the surrounding tissues and skin. The deeply penetrating long wavelength of the Cutera CoolGlide™ allows us to target blood vessels which other; shorter wavelength lasers cannot safely reach. The duration of the pulse is carefully determined so that laser energy will be absorbed by the blood vessels without transferring excessive heat to the surrounding skin.
The body reabsorbs the blood vessels, which have been destroyed, and the flow of blood is directed back down into the deeper vessels, where it belongs.
The surface of the skin is protected by cooling gel packs applied immediately before and after treatment, and by a gold plated cooling head which glides over the skin (CoolGlide™) This helps to protect the skin, while effectively treating the unwanted vessels.
The Cutera CoolGlide™ laser can be used just about anywhere on the body, and usually requires no anesthesia or other treatment. Even sensitive areas such as the nose and cheeks can be treated easily and with minimal discomfort.
The system's unique design allows us to customize treatment, according to the size and color of your unwanted blood vessels, your skin color, and location on the body.
Cutera CoolGlide™ laser treatment is a safe, fast, gentle and effective method for removal of unwanted blood vessels. In just a few treatment sessions (in some cases only a single treatment session) using the gentle power of lasers, you can greatly improve the appearance of skin which is disfigured by unwanted blood vessels and broken capillaries.
WHAT AREAS OF THE BODY CAN BE TREATED?
ALL parts of the body can be treated with the Cutera CoolGlide™ laser. In women, the most common areas for treatment are blood vessels on the thighs, lower legs and ankles. In men and women unwanted red blood vessels on the nose and face, including those associated with acne Rosacea and with sun damage, are successfully treated. Cherry hemangiomas and spider hemangiomas (sometimes called "broken capillaries" or "broken blood vessels") on the face, upper chest and other parts of the body are other commonly treated lesions.
ARE THERE RISKS INVOLVED WITH LASER REMOVAL OF BLOOD VESSELS?
Short-term side effects may include a reddening of the skin over the treated vessels or local swelling which typically lasts less than a day, although it may infrequently last a few days. Fourth generation, long wavelength 1064 lasers like CoolGlide™ are less likely than older lasers to cause prolonged irritation, pigment changes or blistering.
Occasionally there can be increased or decreased pigment in the treated area. This is seldom a major cosmetic problem, and generally resolves after several months. Even a single blister (rather like a tiny sunburn) is unusual, and generally will resolve within a week or two with some Polysporin or Aloe Vera.
Bruising can occur occasionally when treating vessels on the legs, which are 2-3 mm in diameter. This is more of a nuisance than a major problem, and usually resolves within a few weeks without needing any treatment.
The light from the Cutera CoolGlide™ Laser does not cause skin cancer.
IS LASER REMOVAL OF BLOOD VESSELS PERMANENT?
"Permanent removal" means: "ALL the blood vessels are gone, FOREVER!" There is NO treatment for blood vessels (including laser), which can guarantee anybody "permanent blood vessel REMOVAL".
The most realistic description of the results after laser treatment is: "long term blood vessel REDUCTION". This means: "After one or two treatments on the face, or one to four treatments on the legs the total number of unsightly blood vessels is greatly reduced -- generally by 70% to 90%." Most people are very pleased with this degree of improvement, as long as they know that this is what to expect before they have laser removal of blood vessels.
Because lasers have been used for blood vessel removal for only the last 10 years, we can't know if the results will continue to be felt in 15 or 20 years. However, we do know that stable, long-term blood vessel reduction commonly lasts for at least two years, and some patients who had their last treatment many years ago are still enjoying a high degree of blood vessel reduction.
SHOULD I EXPECT TO BE FREE OF UNSIGHTLY BLOOD VESSELS IN THE TREATED AREA AFTER A SERIES OF TREATMENTS?
No, most patients experience a 70-90% reduction in the number of blood vessels in a given area, but you should not expect to be "completely free of unwanted blood vessels"
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
The number of treatments will depend on:
- The desired degree of blood vessel reduction
- Hormonal status
- The area being treated
- Medications, (prednisone can increase superficial blood vessel growth)
- Typically, one or two treatments are needed for facial vessels; and three or four treatments may be needed on the legs. Treatment can be done every 6 weeks on the face, and every 3 months on the legs. Cherry hemangiomas (red dots on the body) usually only require one or two treatments.
Some people start with the area that troubles them the most, then when they can see the results they often return to have other areas treated.
Additional "touchup" treatments on small troublesome areas can be arranged at relatively low cost. There is no safety limit on the number of treatments a person can have. People who have been partially treated with other types of blood vessel removing laser and/or injection sclerotherapy might in some cases need a smaller number of CoolGlide™ laser treatments.
AM I GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LASER REMOVAL OF BLOOD VESSELS?
The unique design of the CoolGlide™ laser, and the long wavelength, allows treatment of people with all skin colors. A smaller number of treatments are needed when the skin is light colored .We do not treat patients with a fresh sunburn.
Normal, reasonable people who have realistic expectations tend to be excellent candidates for Cutera CoolGlide™ laser removal of unwanted blood vessels.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING TREAMENT?
Other than your regular skin care routine, there is no standard preparation for this procedure. There are no restrictions on what you may eat or drink prior to your appointment. Many people like to take 2 - 3 Advil (200mg. tablets) to prevent or reduce discomfort.
Please shave the areas to be treated before you come in for treatment. Excess dark hair above the surface of the skin absorbs and wastes laser energy, and reduces the amount of energy that reaches the undesired blood vessels. Excess hair above the surface of the skin also increases the chance of burning or irritating the skin.
When you come for treatment, it is important not to wear any makeup over the area being treated because makeup can absorb laser energy. This could interfere with treatment, or even cause overheating of the skin surface and blistering. Makeup can be re-applied immediately after Cutera CoolGlide™ laser treatment.
After all of your last minute questions have been answered and paperwork handled, the areas you wish to have treated will be cleansed and pre treatment photos may be taken. Everyone in the treatment room must wear protective goggles when the laser is turned on. The length of the procedure itself can range from a few minutes for a few spider veins to an hour or more for very extensive blood vessels on the thighs and lower legs.
Immediately before the laser is used on an area, a thin coat of clear gel is lightly smoothed over the skin, and then the laser pulses are quickly and evenly applied to the unwanted vessels. The cooling head of the CoolGlide Excel may be applied to the skin immediately before and after each pulse of the laser, to further protect your skin and prevent or reduce any discomfort.
DOES IT HURT?
The laser emits only light. You may feel a tingling or snapping sensation like a rubber band. There is no bleeding and no open wound is created. Some people find the FIRST laser treatment more uncomfortable than subsequent treatments. Maybe this is because there are more blood vessels which are destroyed during the first treatment; and perhaps also because some people are more apprehensive during the first treatment, because they are not sure of what to expect.
Many patients find that they have less discomfort if they shave the area to be treated at least a couple of hours BEFORE coming in for treatment, because freshly shaved skin is often somewhat more sensitive.
While some areas of the body like the nose are more sensitive than others, many patients report little or no discomfort. If there is unusual discomfort, please let us know so that we can apply more cooling or adjust the settings on the laser.
Most people find it helpful to simply take two or three Advil (200mg tablets), 2 hours before coming in for treatment.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER TREATMENT?
Redness often has faded greatly by the next day. It would not be uncommon for the skin to be slightly drier that evening and to require more moisturizing cream.
The treated blood vessels, in particular on the legs, may appear slightly more obvious or a bit darker for the next week or two, but this is seldom a major cosmetic problem. Occasionally on the legs, less frequently on the face, there can be isolated superficial bruising which generally is a nuisance and resolves within a week or two on the face, or several weeks on the legs without needing any treatment.
WHY DO THE BLOOD VESSELS LOOK MORE OBVIOUS AFTER TREATMENT?
After the blood vessels are treated with laser energy, they sometimes swell up slightly, and the body moves in to begin the job of removing the treated vessels.
Sometimes portions of the vessels will seal off immediately, and a bit of blood stays behind in the treated vessels, causing temporary red or purple coloration. If this happens, the blood in the vessels is usually reabsorbed along with the vessels themselves by the body over a period of several weeks to a couple of months on the legs, without needing any additional treatment.
Because the CoolGlide™ laser can produce a longer, gentler pulse there is much less chance of bruising compared to treatment with first and second generation lasers. Patients who have previously been treated with dye lasers are always impressed by the fact that they look good immediately after CoolGlide™ treatment, with little or no discoloration of the skin.
ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON ACTIVITIES AFTER TREATMENT?
Since the laser does not burn or cut the skin in any way, no bandages are necessary. You can return to work the same day and resume all your regular activities. To reduce the chance of uneven tanning in the treated area, you should minimize sun exposure and tanning for a week or two after treatment.
Consultations about Cutera CoolGlide laser removal of hair and blood vessels can usually be arranged within one week simply by calling our East Valley Office at 480-657-7065 or our West Valley Office at 623-512-4055. Treatment can sometimes be done on the same day as the consultation, or within a couple of weeks.
Our staff, which has had Cutera CoolGlide™ laser treatment themselves, will be glad to discuss your wishes and options, and answer your questions.
- 1. In Arizona, it is difficult, but please try to minimize tanning and self-tanning creams for a week or two before treatment. A fresh tan can interfere a bit with the effectiveness of the CoolGlide Laser treatment, though this is less of a problem than with older, short wavelength lasers.
- 2. Please do not wear makeup on the areas to be treated. Makeup absorbs laser energy, and less energy will reach your unwanted blood vessels. Blistering may also occur.
- 3. Please shave the areas to be treated the day before treatment or on the morning of treatment. Excess hair above the surface of the skin absorbs and wastes laser energy, and reduces the amount of energy that reaches the unwanted blood vessels where it is really needed. Excess hair above the surface of the skin also increases the chance of burning or irritating the skin.
- 4. Some people find it helpful to take 2-3 Advil, (200mg. tablets), 2 hours before coming in for treatment.
- 1. Redness often has faded within a day or two. It would not be uncommon for the skin to be slightly drier that evening and to require more of your favorite moisturizer. The treated blood vessels may appear slightly more obvious for the next week or two, but this is seldom a cosmetic problem.
- 2. Try to avoid tanning for a week or two after treatment, because occasionally the tan could be somewhat irregular (lighter and/or darker in the treated areas.)
- 3. You do not need to purchase support stockings or special creams, and there is no special routine for you to follow.
- 4. Blistering or scaling after Cutera CoolGlide™ laser removal of blood vessels is very rare, but usually resolve over a few days or a week with a bit of Polysporin several times a day. Please call us if this happens, or if you have any other problems or questions.
“On the night of my procedure, Dr. Guyette called me to see how I was feeling. I thought that was magnificent and it was greatly appreciated! I felt very cared for!” Gordon Stein