Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Once I've completed my vascular laser regimen, what can be done to prevent future vein-related concerns?
- Is there anything I can do between treatments to lessen the overall number of zaps I'll need?
Pre-procedure prep for Vascular laser: Prior to laser treatment, avoid sun exposure, aspirin, alcohol, and-if you haven't kicked the habit yet-smoking.
On the day of treatment: On the day of treatment with a vascular laser, don't use creams, lotions, or moisturizers on or near the area that will be treated.
What To Expect
Vascular lasers are passed over your skin with a handheld device. You will be sitting in a chair or lying on a table while the treatment occurs. Any post-treatment bumps should disappear within four hours.
Who should do it: With various vascular laser devices available, each device bears different licensing requirements. Make sure that the physician carrying out the treatment is trained to use the particular machine and to perform dermatologic laser therapy.
Duration: Treatment with vascular lasers can take as little as 5 to 20 minutes.
How Painful Is It?
You'll feel a slight tingling on your skin each time the laser fires. The sensation is something akin to a rubber band snapping against the skin. The larger the area, the more laser firings you'll need. The more firings you need, the more uncomfortable you'll be. Vascular lasers also give off heat.
The devices may be paired with a cooling device to protect your skin from overheating or, worse, burning.
Vascular laser treatment can be mildly to moderately painful -- ranging from 3 to 5 on a 1 to 10 scale.
Options for anesthesia: A topical anesthetic can be applied before beginning the procedure to numb the area.