Laser Treatment

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How does the VBeam work?

The VBeam produces an intense but gentle burst of light that selectively destroys the extra blood vessels without damaging the surrounding tissue. After laser treatment the surrounding tissue is left intact and the color of the skin remains normal.


Are there other ways to treat my vascular lesion?

For leg spider veins, some patients have received sclerotherapy. This mode of therapy is the recommended initial treatment but can cause hyperpigmentation or pigment discoloration from six(6) weeks to twenty four(24) months. Also, this treatment modality can be painful and uncomfortable postoperatively, requiring specific care.


For other types of vascular lesions, such as port wine stains, stretch marks, scars, facial spider veins or warts, some patients have tried surgery, electrocautery, cryotherapy (freezing the area) or tattooing. These procedures often result in scarring or may leave an unsatisfactory result.


Other lasers such as the ruby laser, argon laser and CO2 laser have also been used to treat vascular lesions. These lasers are not as specific to the destruction of the blood vessels in the vascular lesions and have resulted in scarring in many individuals. Because of the chance of scarring, the use of these lasers in infants and young children is not recommended.


If you have been treated by other modalities, which resulted in scarring or loss of pigment, the VBeam may enable a smoothing of the scars.

Is there anything that would not make me a candidate for therapy?

The depth of penetration of the VBeam is limited to vessels about 1.5 mm in size. Therefore, vessels greater than this may not respond to the therapy. Additionally, blue vessels may not respond as well as red ones.


What should I expect from this laser treatment?

Treatment may consist of multiple treatments. For facial veins, one treatment may be sufficient for clearance but a second visit is recommended for the best results. These treatments occur on an average of every six to twelve weeks. Each individual situation may vary and it's best to discuss yours with me prior to treatment.


The type of vascular lesion to be treated will determine the number of treatments needed. Red veins respond better than blue veins and the smaller, matted vessels will respond sooner than vessels up to 1.5 mm in size. Port wine stain lesions have more vessels to be treated and require multiple treatments but the number of treatments is unknown in advance.


Are there any adverse effects?

With any laser therapy there is a possibility for adverse effects. The following are adverse effects that may occur with the VBeam:


1. The treated area may hyperpigment, or appear darker after the         bruising/red discoloration heals. Normal skin color usually returns within 6 months after laser therapy.

2. Scarring is a risk with the use of any laser. The VBeam has had no reported incidence of scarring. If the post treatment skin care instructions are not followed, this can increase the chance of scarring.

3. The treated area may show a slight depression after the laser treatments. This depression usually resolves within a few months.


Will the laser treatment hurt?

A topical cream anesthetic or local injection can be used if requested to decrease the pain of treatment. The feeling of a laser pulse has been described as being snapped by a rubber band or a slight stinging sensation. Following laser treatment, The area may continue to sting slightly or feel warm similar to a sunburn. If a large area is to be treated, an anesthesia may be necessary. A small test area can be preformed before the entire area is treated to evaluate your pain tolerance. Most patients tolerate this procedure without any need for anesthesia. Applying ice packs post-operatively can alleviate any discomfort experienced during the procedure.


How long will the laser treatments last?

The duration of your laser treatment depends on the size of the area you wish to have treated. You will need to discuss this with me proir to treatment.


Can the VBeam be used to treat other conditions besides extra blood vessels?

The VBeam has been used for non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Using a series of treatments, areas of fine lines particularly around the eyes can be improved by stimulating the growth of new protein. The improvement is not dramatic but often is significant.


For further information regarding lasers you can visit the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery web site.

I have a longstanding interest in lasers and have been a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery since my dermatology residency. Lasers are a wonderful tool for targeting specific structures in the skin and destroying or altering them without damaging surrounding structures. However, most lasers have a limited scope of use based on the wavelength of energy that they produce. Since lasers are relatively expensive, I currently only use one laser in my practice. The Candela VBeam laser is the gold standard for the treatment of excessive blood vessels and blood vessel disorders such as:

Vascular lesions (blood vessels)

Telangectasias of the face

Port wine stains