Varicose Vein & Leg Vein Removal

Olympic Dermatology and Laser Clinic was one of the first offices in the Northwest to offer the VascuLight and Lume 1 Intense Pulse Light (IPL)/ Nd:YAG laser systems. Nationally noted as a “Center for Excellence,” our expertise coupled with this innovated technology can now offer you varicose vein treatment options unavailable in the past.

What is the VascuLight and Lume 1 Systems?

This breakthrough technology utilizes laser light at a near infrared wavelength (Nd: YAG) or broad- band intense pulsed light (IPL) . This is not the conventional laser mechanics found in other devices. Rather, these systems use innovative laser physics and advanced computer software to successfully treat a full range of vascular structures, from deep and very large veins and birthmarks to shallow lesions and tiny spider veins.

Unlike other non-invasive techniques, these laser vein removal systems successfully “zap” large blood vessels up to 3 mm in diameter.

How does the Lume 1/ VascuLight work on veins?

With its proprietary Multiple Synchronized Pulsing capabilities, these systems selectively heat different sizes of broken blood vessels at different depths below the skin’s surface with excellent results. This enables us to treat complex and interwoven networks of big twisted vessels and webs of small capillaries with pinpoint control. One to three laser pulses can achieve complete closure and sealing of the damaged vessels.

What will happen during the laser vein removal treatment?

After the consent is obtained, photographs are usually taken. Before treatment begins, Dr. Brazil sets the laser parameters according to your skin color, the type of vein or condition being treated, and its location on your body. Then a clear gel is placed on the site to be treated. This helps focus the light energy and cool the skin. You will be given dark glasses to shield your eyes from the bursts of light as the laser light is applied. The only sensation experienced during the treatment is a sting, like the snapping of a rubber band or a sharp pinch. By using ice and cold gel on the skin to be treated, discomfort in minimized.

How many treatment sessions will it take?

Depending on the type and severity of the condition being treated, Dr. Brazil may recommend anywhere from one to four treatment sessions to achieve the desired outcome. An individual session generally lasts about an hour from arrival to departure. Repeat treatments, when necessary, are usually done at 6 weeks intervals.

Before After
Photo before varicose vein removal Photo after varicose vein removal

These may not represent all outcomes of this procedure.

How much improvement will I have?

Some immediate improvement is typically visible, with the treated blood vessels disappearing over two to three weeks. Complications, such as blisters, scarring, bleeding and pigment loss, seldom occur. Most patients return to their regular routines quickly with virtually no after-care required. However, you may experience some redness or bruising around the treated area. This usually goes away in just a few days to several weeks. A 70% improvement is a reasonable overall response.

What type of post-treatment care is necessary?

Care for the treated areas gently. We will recommend a gel you can use for discomfort as needed. Avoid sun exposure for about 3 months. You will be given written instructions at the time of treatment.

Is this procedure covered by insurance?

Insurance reimbursement varies from state to state and carrier to carrier. Most insurance companies do not offer reimbursement for cosmetic conditions. It’s best to consult your individual carrier for more information on your specific type of treatment.

I’ve had other treatments for varicose and spider veins, and sometimes the problem comes back over time. Does this treatment offer a permanent solution for these conditions?

This varicose vein treatment procedure provides complete and virtually permanent closure of damaged and ruptured veins, both large and small, both near the surface and further below it. Since the vein is completely closed, blood cannot flow back into it; consequently, over time the vein simply disintegrates and is absorbed by the body. A treated vessel is permanently destroyed. The appearance of new vessels, however, cannot be prevented so periodic touch-ups are expected.

I spend a lot of time outdoors, so I usually have a pretty good tan. Can I still be treated with the laser energy of the VascuLight/ Lume 1 systems?

One of the advances of these systems is their ability to treat virtually all skin types and colors, at any time of the year. This is due to its long, near infrared laser wavelength that easily passes through melanin, the material that gives color to the skin. A tan does increase the risk of a burn so one should avoid tanning whenever possible.

How can I prevent varicose veins and spider veins in the future?

If your job or other parts of your life require you spend a lot of time standing up, consider buying some kind of cushioning floor mat that will take some of the pressure off your legs. Placing these mats by the sink where you do dishes, or at the stove, or at a cash register where you work, can help alleviate vein problems and their symptoms–and make your legs feel less tired as well! You might also consider wearing special hosiery to help improve circulation.

For additional information, contact Olympic Dermatology and Laser Clinic at 360-459-1700. We are the leading dermatology center serving Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, DuPont, Steilacoom, Centralia, Chehalis, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Shelton and the South Sound region.