COMMON VASCULAR PROBLEMS
Veins are tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. Along the veins are one-way valves that keep the blood flowing in the proper direction. When these valves become weak or damaged, blood begins to back up and pool in the vein, causing the vein to become inflamed or abnormally dilated. For some people, this can happen with no symptoms at all, but for many others, this inflammation and dilation can be extremely painful and lead to unsightly vein lines showing through the skin. The two most common vascular conditions are varicose veins, abnormally dilated and twisted vascular legions most often seen in the legs, and spider veins, which usually manifest as red, purple, and blue vessels underneath the skin in the legs, chest, or face.
At Gentle Touch Aesthetics and Wellness in Los Gatos, California, we are pleased to offer a range of energy-based treatment options for these common vascular problems, including laser and radiofrequency occlusion. Our physicians oversee all procedures at Gentle Touch Aesthetics and Wellness, and their personal involvement in your treatment plan will ensure that you receive the highest quality care and the best possible results. They will provide you with a customized treatment plan designed to comfortably and cost-effectively minimize the appearance of undesirable vascular problems.
ENERGY-BASED TREATMENT OPTIONS
Energy-based vascular treatments such as laser and radiofrequency occlusion offer patients in-office, minimally-invasive options for treating mild to moderate vascular problems, while minimizing discomfort and post-procedure downtime. These procedures are generally more effective than topical or injection-based options, and for many individuals offer an effective alternative to invasive surgery to remove the affected veins (although surgery may still be required for severe vascular problems).
Both laser and radiofrequency treatments work the same way: they utilize short, safe bursts of energy to seal the vein, cutting off its source of blood (which will find its way back to the heart through other healthy veins.) Once the sealed vein is empty, it will die and be reabsorbed by the body, eliminating both the unsightly lines under the skin and any pain and discomfort the impacted vein caused.
Laser-based treatments use highly focused beam of light to heat and damage the vein, causing scar tissue to form. The scar tissue then seals the vein. Simple laser treatment can be done on the outside of the skin and works best for spider veins and tiny varicose veins. Endovenous laser treatment can treat larger varicose veins. During this procedure, a tiny catheter is inserted into the vein, and the laser fiber is passed through the catheter to heat and damage the affected vein. Endovenous laser treatments require local anesthesia or a light sedative.
Radiofrequency occlusion involves the use of radiofrequency energy to heat, collapse, and seal the vein shut. As with endovenous laser, the radiofrequency energy is delivered into the vein through a small catheter and may require local anesthesia.
Both of these procedures may require more than one treatment in order to ensure optimal results, especially for large varicose veins. These treatments are all minimally-invasive, and patients are usually up and walking immediately afterwards, returning to their normal activities very quickly. Some procedures may require the use of a compression sock or sleeve for up to a week afterwards to ensure proper closure of the affected veins. Side effects are rare, but can include discoloration, staining, and the formation of blisters.