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Laser Vein Removal--Eliminating Spider and Varicose Veins With Laser Thread Vein Removal

Updated on February 10, 2010

Did you know that roughly 50-55% of women and 40-45% of men in America have some form of problem with the veins? In fact, varicose veins affect 50% of people over the age of 50. The good news is that these unattractive veins can be easily removed quickly and inexpensively with laser vein removal therapy. This technology is so popular because it is minimally invasive, virtually painless, and takes minimal recovery.

Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Before discussing the procedure of laser vein removal, it's important to know the difference between varicose veins and spider veins.  Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen vein that can be seen through the skin, commonly found on calves or the inside of a leg.  These type of veins may appear flesh-toned, dark-purple, or blue and often look twisted or bulging.  In pregnant women, varicose veins are known as hemorrhoids and form in the vagina or around the anus.

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are much smaller.  These appear to be tangled and resemble tree branches or spider webs.  They appear as red, blue, and purple in color and are very visible through the skin's surface.  Spider veins can cover small or large areas of the skin and are usually found on the calves, thighs, and face.

Several factors determines the  chances of developing varicose or spider veins including:

  • Aging
  • Weak vein valves from birth
  • Hereditary- family history of vein problems.
  • Hormonal changes-  occurring during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
  • Obesity
  • Leg injury
  • Standing for prolonged periods of time
  • Sun exposure for a fair-skinned individuals

While spider veins usually require no medical treatment, varicose veins can worsen and create other health issues such as skin sores/ulcers, swelling, irritation, infections, and risk of blood clotting.

Laser Vein Removal Procedure

A laser thread vein removal procedure is ideal for those who want to get rid of unsightly varicose or spider veins. This is a minimally invasive procedure that removes veins with intense pulsed light (IPL) technology.  A laser vein removal procedure is performed while the patient is conscious, with little risk of burns or blisters to the skin.  The removal is generally fast, and provides long-term results.

Laser Varicose Vein Removal

Endovenous laser ablation (laser varicose vein removal) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat deep varicose veins.  The treatment involves a laser fiber inserted through the skin and directly into the targeted vein.  The laser's heat ultimately damages the lining of the vein, causing it to shrink and gradually disappear. Since these vein are destroyed, any blood flowing to them are redirected to healthy blood vessels.  This technique is fairly fast, only taking about 30 minutes.

Laser Spider Vein Removal

Laser spider vein removal uses a focused beam of light that passes through the skin.  The laser is actually targeted to the pigment in the blood, and as the blood absorbs the light, the heat destroys the small vein.  The vein eventually disappears, generally over a period of four to six weeks.  Since the beam is focused, there is no damage to the surrounding skin tissue.  This technique uses a minimal amount of heat and takes about 20 minutes; though treatment may be longer or shorter depending on the size of the area and severity of the veins.

With both laser spider vein removal and laser varicose vein removal, veins fade almost completely, giving the skin a more youthful and uniform appearance.  However, it is important to note that laser vein removal does not prevent new veins from forming.

Laser Leg Vein Removal Recovery

The downtime after the treatment is minimal, with most patients being able to resume normal activities immediately.   Some swelling and minor bruising may occur, but it usually subsides within a few days to a few weeks after treatment.  A doctor may also recommend using compression stockings

Candidates for Laser Vein Removal

Since laser removal is minimally invasive with little to no risk, almost anyone will be able to undergo therapy. Generally ideal candidates should:

  • be anyone who is interested in improving his/her appearance
  • be physically healthy
  • be mentally and psychologically stable
  • have no problems with bleeding or any type of blood vessel disease
  • be non-smokers
  • have realistic expectations about the therapy and results.

Laser Vein Therapy Cost

Laser vein therapy will roughly cost anywhere between $125-$1000 per session depending on the severity and surface area of the veins. Fees within various regions may vary depending on whether the doctor’s practice is in an urban, suburban or rural area. This fee only covers the physician’s costs, and does not include other miscellaneous costs. Also, the fee varies with the type of technique used for treatment.  A more precise figure should be obtained from a physician.

Most medical insurance companies, including Medicaid and Medicare do not cover laser vein therapy since it is considered a cosmetic surgery procedure.  However, some surgeons do offer financing options if needed.


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