What should I expect for this laser treatment?
Treatment with the V-Beam may consist of multiple treatments. For facial veins, one treatment may be sufficient for clearance but additional treatments are not uncommon. These treatments occur on an average of every six to twelve weeks depending on the area and type of treatment. The type of vascular lesion to be treated will determine the number of treatments needed. The red veins respond better than blue veins and the smaller, matting vessels will respond sooner than larger vessels up to 1.5mm in size. Port wine stain lesions have more vessels to be treated and require multiple treatments, but the number of treatments is unknown in advance.
Will the laser treatment hurt?
The DCD (Dynamic Cooling Device) which is built into the laser system, delivers a short burst or sprayof cryogen just prior to the laser pulse being delivered. The DCD has been instrumental in reducing pain associated with treatment as well as reducing the possibility of blister/scab formation. In some instances, a topical cream or anesthetic can be used if requested. The feeling of a laser pulse has been described as being snapped by a rubber band or a slight stinging sensation. Following laser treatment, the area may continue to sting slightly or feel warm like sunburn. If a large area is to be treated, anesthesia may be used. A small test area can be performed before the entire area is treated to evaluate your pain tolerance. Most patients tolerate this procedure without any need for anesthesia. Applying ice packs post-operatively can alleviate any discomfort experienced during the procedure. We also offer a topical numbing cream that may be applied 30-45 minutes before treatment to help reduce the sensation of the laser pulsed. You can discuss this option with the nurse prior to treatment.
Precautions Before Your Laser Treatment
Avoid direct exposure to the sun. A sun screen of SPF 30 or greater should be used for casual sun exposure for several months before and after your treatment, or as long as you plan to continue treatment. Darker melanin or pigment from the sun may produce side effects or make the treatment less effective.
Care Of The Treated Area
The treated area may be pink/red for 4-8 hours after treatment. During this time you may feel a slight stinging sensation (similar to a mild sunburn) in the treatment area. This sensation usually subsides within 4-6 hours; cool packs or cool moist cloths may be applied to the area to reduce this sensation. Depending on the area(s) treated, you may notice some mild swelling which usually dissipates within several days. You can apply make-up or lotion to the treatment area the day after your treatment or when all signs of redness and heat have dissipated from the area.
We recommend that you apply a good moisturizing lotion to the treatment area twice daily for the duration of your treatments and for at least 2-3 months after your last treatment. It is important to remember that you may not see any significant changes for several weeks after the laser treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments really depends on the type of lesions being treated. Some vein treatments may consist of 1-2 treatments, while treatment of scars and stretch marks may have 5-8 treatments. You will be informed of the estimated number of treatments for your specific area(s) of concern during your initial consultation.
How long will the laser treatment take?
The duration of your laser treatment depends on the size of the area you wish to have treated. Most treatments last between 15-20 minutes.
How frequently will the treatments be performed?
Depending on the type of treatment, the treatment frequency usually is about every 6-8 weeks.
What happens after the treatment?
Depending on the type and area of treatment, patients will have different post-treatment results and regimes. Some patients may experience bruising or redness that lasts for several days up to several weeks, while others may only have slight redness for several hours. Please read through out section on patient guidelines for more specific information on post-treatment care.