As we age and our skin thins and collagen production declines it’s easier and easier to see blue veins on the under-eye areas. There’s been a misperception that nothing can be done about these unsightly veins, but that’s not the case. Dr. Levin uses our Nd:YAG laser to painlessly close off these veins and make them disappear.
Here’s more on how she does it.
How is the YAG laser used to treat under-eye veins?
Under-eye veins, clinically known as periorbital veins, can be successfully treated using a long-pulse Nd: YAG laser. The procedure is virtually painless and there isn’t any downtime.
Dr. Levin uses our Nd:YAG laser with a sapphire-chilled tip for these veins that measure from 1 mm to 3 mm. They appear on the under-eye area and also on the outside of the eyes (this is an unfortunate side effect of facelift surgery done elsewhere). Dr. Levin uses a 3 mm spot size and a 50-microsecond pulse duration for these vein treatments.
The first step is to give the patient fully protective eye shields. Dr. Levin then applies laser pulses along the length of the blood vessel with about 1 mm to 3 mm of space between each laser pulse. She doesn’t overlap the pulses to prevent excessive heating of the tissues.
After her first pass, if any portions of the targeted veins are still visible, she’ll wait from 20 to 30 seconds and then will make a second and, if necessary, a third pass. This will usually cause complete blanching of the vein.
Is YAG laser treatment for under-eye veins safe for your eyes?
We apply eye shields to fully block any possible laser light from reaching any part of the eyes. This keeps you completely protected.
Am I a candidate for under-eye vein treatments with the YAG laser?
Anyone with unsightly under-eye veins is a good candidate for the YAG treatments with Dr. Levin. The more contrast between the vein color and the patient’s skin tone, the easier and more effective the treatment. This is because it is easy for the laser energy to differentiate between the vein and the skin. Still, patients with darker skin tones can have these treatments, but Dr. Levin simply sets the laser power level at a somewhat lower threshold.
Patients cannot have any eye infections or eye problems such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy to have these treatments.
Are these YAG laser treatments for under-eye veins painful?
We apply a water-based gel to the surface of the skin before your treatment. This helps to allow the skin to cool more efficiently, and it enables the YAG laser handpiece to slide more easily across the under-eye tissue. The YAG laser has a sapphire-cooled tip, which is cooled to 5 degrees Celsius. This functions to instantly ice the area, cooling the skin immediately. There isn’t any pain during the treatment or afterwards. Anesthesia is not required.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for YAG treatments of under-eye veins?
These treatments with Dr. Levin don’t require any preparation. There isn’t any recovery, so you don’t need to plan for that.
How many treatments will I need to see my final results?
For most patients, Dr. Levin only needs a single treatment session to fully remove your periorbital veins. In some cases, with larger veins, a second treatment could be necessary, but this is unusual. If this is the case, that second treatment would need to be scheduled one month after the first session. After your vein is closed off, it can take up to a month for the body to fully dispose of the unused vein.
Are under-eye vein treatments permanent?
The veins closed off by Dr. Levin are gone for good. By heating the vein with the YAG laser energy, this causes the blood in the vein to coagulate, and this closes off the vein. Any blood that was routed through the vein is instantly routed to an adjacent vein. The body then goes about the business of scavenging the now-unused vein and it will be fully gone in a few weeks.
The veins she treats are permanently gone; they will not open and begin carrying deoxygenated blood again. You could still develop new under-eye veins, however. This varies by the patient.