Vascular and Lesion Removal
This procedure is performed at our Gheringhap St, Geelong and Epworth Hospital Clinics
ABOUT VASCULAR AND LESION REMOVAL
Laser treatments are now a routine procedure for the removal of many types of vascular lesions including haemangiomas, vascular malformations such as port-wine stains, telangiectasias, spider veins on the legs, venous lakes and angiomas.
The perfect vascular solution is long-pulse Nd:YAG as Nd:YAG laser beams are highly attracted to the haemoglobin present in the blood vessels. At Body Recon, our Fotona SP Dynamis long-pulse Nd:YAG laser penetrates to a depth of 5-6 mm into the skin, allowing for highly effective treatments. Independent research shows that patients treated with Nd:YAG lasers see a quick and dramatic regression in vascular lesions.
Past vascular treatments with IPL or shallow depth lasers have found that the energy does not penetrate deeply enough into the vascular lesion, causing much more discomfort without a good treatment outcome. The Nd:YAG has the right penetration depth and is much more suited to treating deeper vascular lesions and providing effective long term results.
In addition to our long pulse Nd:YAG, we also can offer a multi-wavelength QX MAX system with Q-switched KTP (532nm). KTP is also an ideal platform for the removal of micro vascular lesions and pigmentation. As a rule of thumb, bigger vessels generally require Nd:YAG whereas smaller lesions may be treated with KTP, your specialist will be able to advise the best treatment option for you.
VASCULAR AND LESION REMOVAL
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The targeted chromophore for vascular lesions is intravascular oxyhaemoglobin; thus, thermal damage is largely restricted to cutaneous blood vessels. The energy from the laser is absorbed by the blood in the vein and converted into heat, destroying the vein walls. In comparison with other wavelengths, which mainly affect the surface layers of a lesion, Nd:YAG light also targets the underlying vascular feeding system, which is important for ensuring the long-term efficacy of the treatment. This process is perfectly safe as the blood supply to the treated area is maintained by other vessels and the dead tissue is removed by the body in the same way as a bruise.
KTP works by targeting the oxyhaemoglobin in the vessels with less energy. This can be great for smaller microvascular lesions, such as those present with a type 1-2 rosacea but is not powerful enough for treatment of larger lesions such as spider veins.
Most patients report that the treatments are very tolerable and extremely quick. Patients will experience a quick stinging sensation at the time of treatment but will not have any post treatment effects.
Generally, Nd:YAG is a very safe and effective treatment with no real long term side effects. Some patients may experience blistering and scabbing on the treatment area post treatment, as a result of the high energy levels used, although not ideal, this indicates a good removal of the lesion. Another common possible side effect is post inflammatory hypopigmentation, where the skin may develop a slight whitening in the treatment area post treatment, this usually only lasts for about a month.
Treatment of vascular lesions is usually very effective. The number of treatments required will depend on the type and location of the vascular lesion. Larger spider veins on the legs will usually require 2-3 sessions. Telangiasia on the face may require 1-3 treatments. Angiomas and haemangiomas usually only require one treatment. The location of the lesion will determine what strength of treatment we are able to use- for example, lesions on the legs may be treated more aggressively than those on the face where several lighter treatments may be more appropriate.
Leg veins can also be treated with injections (sclerotherapy) or by removal of the veins in surgery. Sclerotherapy is the traditional method of treatment for leg veins and involves injecting a substance into the vein to thrombose or shut it down. Often this can be quite painful and invasive and compression garments need to be worn for weeks after treatment. Sometimes sclerotherapy or surgery is the only option, particularly with larger more difficult lesions, however in a lot of instances laser therapy is a viable alternative.
Laser can also be used to treat smaller leg veins and can be as effective as sclerotherapy on these and at this same time is much less invasive as it does not require the use of needles. Laser can also treat clusters of spider veins where there are a lot of small veins concentrated in one spot. Unlike after sclerotherapy there is no need for compression stockings to be worn after the laser treatment. At Body Recon, we do not offer sclerotherapy or surgery for veins – if these methods of treatment are required then you will need an appointment with a vascular surgeon.
Venous lakes are blue to violet lesions that are usually found on the lower lip or ears. They are a dilation of the underlying veins and can be usually treated in one session with our Nd:YAG laser. A distinct popping sound is heard when the venous lake is treated. Venous lakes respond very quickly and may form a darker scab on the area for a few days following treatment.
These present as small red dots that are often found on the torso but sometimes on the face. Similar to a venous lake, a long high energy pulse is required to shut off the blood supply. The lesion will then form a scab and flake away. Generally, only one treatment is required.
Port wine stains are congenital vascular malformations in the skin that lead to a reddish/purple discolouration. The 532nm wavelength from the Qswitch KTP is highly attracted to the haemoglobin in this birthmark. This shuts down the abnormal vessels and reduces the discolouration of the skin. Multiple treatments are usually required.
These are commonly found on legs, often in clusters and particularly on the thighs. A targeted high energy Nd:YAG session is the best treatment. The Nd:YAG targets the haemoglobin in the veins to thrombose and collapse down the vessel. It is very quick and effective at treating red-purple veins and only takes a few minutes. For deeper, larger veins a couple of treatments are usually required.
Rosacea is a common condition that affects 1 in 20 people and is characterised by facial redness. It is best treated with a combination of laser and appropriate medical grade skin products. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. Exposure to certain climates and radiation (including UV radiation) may play a role in the development of the condition by causing vessel wall abnormalities. Recent studies show that it may be caused by a mite, demodex folliculorum, but genetics also play an integral role.
Laser treatments can help to control the symptoms rather than cure the problem. Redness and broken capillaries due to rosacea can be very effectively and quickly corrected with laser treatments. In many cases, broken facial capillaries can only be properly treated by laser. At Body Recon we favour a multimodality approach, often combining the two wavelengths KTP 532nm and Nd:YAG 1064nm. The 532nm is attracted to the oxyhaemoglobin in the vessels and is very effective in shutting down smaller broken facial capillaries and reducing facial redness. The 1064nm has a deeper penetration and has the ability to thrombose the deeper vessels that may feed the facial capillaries.
Left untreated, rosacea can damage the skin and at times cause enlargement of the nose (rhinophyma), worsening of redness and facial capillaries and thickening of the skin. Rhinophyma is a particularly serious late stage complication. Often a course of treatments is required and from there continual maintenance.
Yes, often the best option is to treat as many lesions as possible in the one session. Sometimes when treating heavily clustered areas of leg veins it may be advisable to break up treatments but usually they can be done all on the same day.
At Body Recon, we have the latest laser equipment operated by specialist nurses, laser specialists and dermal clinicians, all of whom have completed a laser safety training course. We are very experienced and will be able to give you the best advice for your treatment. All treatments at Body Recon Cosmetic Clinic are overseen by plastic surgeon, Dr Richard Rahdon.
The first step is to contact us for an initial consultation, where we will discuss what to expect from your laser treatment and what is a realistic and achievable outcome.
Our Nd:YAG laser is perfectly suited to treat both superficial and large veins up to 6mm in size anywhere on the face or body. Vascular lesions such as telangiectasiae (broken capillaries), haemangiomas and port wine stains are also easily and quickly treated. Spider veins on the legs and telangiectasiae on the face are comfortably and effectively coagulated and reabsorbed by the body. On this setting, the laser targets the oxyhaemoglobin (found in the blood) with a high energy to collapse down the vessel wall. Older vascular treatments with IPL have found that the energy does not penetrate deeply enough into the vascular lesion, causing much more discomfort without a good treatment outcome. The Nd:YAG has the right penetration depth and is much more suited for treating deeper vascular lesions and providing effective long term results.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.