Learn about treatment options for varicose veins.
Pulsed light therapy delivers a concentrated pulse of light to the varicose vein, generating heat and damaging the walls of the vein. The vein shrinks and disappears. Surrounding tissue is not harmed during the treatment.
Why choose pulsed light therapy for varicose veins
The treatment is non-surgical and can be performed in a doctor’s office in less than an hour. Pain and recovery time is minimal. The treatment can be used on the face, arms, legs, thighs, abdomen, ankles and other parts of the body. It works best on patients with fair skin who are in good health.
The treatment is not recommended for individuals taking prescription Accutane, and for those who have keloid or unusual scarring, are subject to sunburns, are pregnant, have onset acne or are on blood thinners.
What you should know about pulsed light therapy for varicose veins
Most treatments take from 15 to 45 minutes to perform. Patients may require two to six treatments in intervals of four to six weeks to achieve optimal results.
As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:
- Blood clots
- Skin burns
- Pigmentation problems
The average cost for pulsed light therapy ranges from $300 to $600 per treatment. Up to six treatments may be necessary in some cases. In symptomatic cases, varicose vein treatment is considered a medical procedure, and a portion of the cost usually is covered by medical insurance companies.
How to prepare for the procedure
Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will usually review the patient’s medical history and conduct a physical exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. Be sure to tell your doctor if:
- You are taking aspirin or blood thinners.
- You are pregnant.
- You sun burn easily.
- You are taking prescription Accutane.
What to expect after the procedure
Following the treatment, patients may feel slight bumps on the skin, although this typically goes away within a few hours. The skin may be reddish, and some experience bruising. Individuals may return to their normal daily activities following treatment.
Find a doctor for your pulsed light therapy for varicose veins
Visit “Find a dermatologic surgeon” and choose “Pulsed Light Therapy for Veins” from the dropdown menu. In 2013, ASDS doctors performed nearly 224,000 vein treatments, up from 146,000 in 2012. Because ASDS dermatologists are trained in a variety of the best and latest techniques, they are the most qualified to evaluate and select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient’s condition.