Leg Vein Removal – How does an Nd:YAG laser work?
To provide leg vein removal, the vessels must be constricted. A 1064 nm wavelength Nd:YAG laser sends energy into the blood and vessel walls, where it is absorbed. Red blood cells are heated, causing microclotting and increased thermal activity in the vessel wall, leading to complete or partial collapse. The constricted vessel then degenerates, and the visible leg veins disappear from the surface of the skin.
Treating vascular conditions in general is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis. The laser works by emitting a specialised light, which passes through the skin and is absorbed by its target, in this case the haemoglobin (the red portion of blood) in the unwanted vessels. The laser light energy is converted into thermal energy – the heat then coagulates the blood and destroys the function of the vein. Over time the vein is reabsorbed into the body and is no longer visible.
Often many fine thread veins disappear immediately and other treated vessels will dramatically change, turning from blue and purple into light red. Most inflammation will subside within a couple of hours. The redness of the treated vessels will gradually disappear as the process progresses, which may take between 2 and 6 weeks, depending on the size of the veins treated.
Possible side effects
The most common side effect is leg vein removal is bruising, or purpura, around the treated area. This bruising normally resolves within days of treatment. Temporary hyperpigmentation (brown discolouration) or hypopigmnentation (lightening of the skin) may occur, but this is very rare. Temporary blistering and scabbing may occur with leg vein removal on rare occasions but is highly unlikely.
How many treatments?
Rarely one treatment is sufficient to achieve full leg vein removal. Depending on the severity of the veins you may require up to 4 treatments. Treatments are approximately 2 to 3 weeks apart. Any new developing veins cannot be prevented. If your body has a history of vascular problems you will most likely need to return for additional treatments of leg vein removal. Prices for leg vein removal will depend on the size of the area to be treated and start at £45 per treatment.