Hand Vein Treatment & Chest Veins Treatment
in Los Angeles
Expert Hand Vein Treatment at LA Vein Center
Prominent veins can make your hands look substantially older. Over the years, the skin loses some of its elasticity and volume. This can result in a more noticeable appearance of lumpy, unattractive veins at the skin’s surface. Areas that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the hands, tend to show these signs of damage even more quickly.
These bulging veins that we can see near the surface of the skin are not even necessary to the circulatory system. There are veins deeper within the hand that sufficiently transport blood to and from the area. Therefore, if surface hand veins are cosmetically bothersome, it is quite safe to treat them and rid the hands of their presence.
At L.A. Vein Center, we have a variety of options for treating unwanted surface veins on the hands and chest. Sclerotherapy is usually the preferred method, as it offers the most effective results with a simple procedure. In some cases, we also may use endovenous laser ablation or a microphlebectomy for hand veins.
Sclerotherapy Treatment for Hand Veins
One of the most effective forms of treatment for hand veins is sclerotherapy. This medical procedure involves the injection of a sclerosant solution into the prominent veins, which causes irritation and their eventual collapse. The treated veins are ultimately absorbed into the body and the blood is redirected naturally to flow through other, healthier veins.
Performed in your doctor’s office, sclerotherapy procedures typically take less than 30 minutes. Some patients will only need one session of sclerotherapy to completely resolve their hand veins, while others may require multiple sessions. Anesthesia is not necessary and most patients report experiencing little to no pain, other than perhaps just a mild burning sensation. After the skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, the sclerosant is injected into the affected veins with a very fine needle. The number of injections per session varies based on the number and length of the damaged veins.
After sclerotherapy, most patients can return to normal activities the same day. Compression bandages may need to be worn for several days after the procedure.
Endovenous Laser Ablation for Hand Veins
Some hand veins can be quite large and then require higher concentrations of sclerosing agents. This can cause a reaction in some patients, so using laser energy to close the unwanted vein may be a better alternative. This is called endovenous laser ablation.
For these treatments, Dr. Lee uses a diode laser. We typically provide oral sedation coupled with lidocaine at the vein sites. The first step is for Dr. Lee to mark the targeted veins. The patient then rests his or her arm on an arm board. After applying lidocaine, Dr. Lee inserts angiocaths into each of the unwanted veins. Through these entry points, the guidewire is inserted and the angiocath is withdrawn. A catheter is then inserted into the vein along the guidewire. Dr. Lee advances it until it reaches the end of the vein portion to be removed, typically at the wrist. We apply tumescent anesthesia over the entire back of the hand at this point. We massage it to diffuse it across the back of the hand. This ensures your comfort during the treatment.
Now it’s time to insert the laser fiber into each of the unwanted veins. Dr. Lee inserts the diode laser fiber into the catheter and advances it to the end of the treatment length. The laser fiber has a red pilot light that can be seen through the surface skin as it is advanced to the desired point. Once at that point, Dr. Lee removes the catheter, and then he activates the laser. The laser fiber is then pulled back out of the vein at the rate of 2 mm/second. As it is pulled back through the vein, the laser energy is emitted. Treating vein segments from 4 to 8 cm takes just 20 to 40 seconds.
The laser energy is absorbed by the vein walls, causing them to collapse. This closes off the veins, and any blood in the veins is instantly rerouted to adjacent veins. When the entire portion of the unwanted vein is treated, the laser is turned off and pulled from the vein. A short stretch bandage is applied to complete the procedure.
Microphlebectomy for Hand Veins
As with hand veins that are too large for sclerotherapy, some may not be right for laser ablation either. In these cases, Dr. Lee may use micro phlebectomy to remove the unwanted unsightly veins.
First, Dr. Lee marks the targeted vein or veins to remove. Then he injects a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. You’ll feel a slight tugging sensation during the procedure but no pain.
To access the vein, tiny incisions are made on the surface skin on the back of the hand. The incisions are so small (basically the size of a ballpoint pen tip, 2-3 mm) they don’t require sutures to close. Through these incisions, Dr. Lee then inserts a small surgical hook. He grasps the unwanted vein and pulls out a section. Because the vein collapses, it can easily be drawn out through the tiny incision. This is repeated on remaining sections down the vein until it is completely removed.
When your microphlebectomy is finished, Dr. Lee applies a short stretch bandage.
Is there any preparation for hand vein removal?
There isn’t any special preparation required for removing unwanted hand veins.
What are the risks involved with hand vein removal?
These procedures involve very low risk. There can be some inflammation and swelling across the back of the hand. This passes as the area calms down. There is a slight risk of infection, but this is exceedingly rare.
Certain people, especially those with fair skin, have prominent blue veins visible beneath the skin of the chest or breasts. As we age, our skin tissue loses fat and volume. This can cause the veins near the surface of the skin to become more obvious. In addition, breast augmentation and nursing can increase the prominence of these veins. While most cases of noticeable chest veins are completely harmless, it can be cosmetically unattractive to some.
Many patients are bothered by the appearance of prominent veins on areas such as the chest or breasts, and seek to keep them covered up with high-necked clothing. However, treatment to diminish chest veins and restore a clear appearance is safe, fast, and successful.
Chest Vein Treatment Options
Just as with the backs of the hands, we use the same methods for unwanted chest veins. Visible chest veins are more common in people with fair skin as their aging skin thins and lose some underlying fat. This allows the small blue veins to show through. We use sclerotherapy, laser ablation, and intense pulsed light to treat chest veins.
Sclerotherapy Treatment for Chest Veins
One of the most effective forms of treatment for chest veins is sclerotherapy. This medical procedure involves the injection of a sclerosant solution into the prominent veins, which causes irritation and their eventual collapse. The treated veins are ultimately absorbed into the body and the blood is redirected naturally to flow through other nearby veins.
Performed in your doctor’s office, sclerotherapy procedures typically take less than 30 minutes. Some patients will only need one session of sclerotherapy to completely resolve their chest veins, while others may require multiple sessions. Anesthesia is not necessary and most patients report experiencing little to no pain, other than perhaps just a mild burning sensation. After the skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, the sclerosant is injected into the affected veins with a very fine needle. The number of injections per session varies based on the number and length of the visible veins.
Laser Chest Vein Removal
The procedure for removing chest veins with our diode laser is the same as used on the hands and described above.
Intense Pulsed Light Chest Vein Removal
Intense Pulsed Light is similar to laser energy, but it involves a wider wavelength of light energy. IPL is used for many aesthetic skin concerns, especially the removal of pigmented areas of sun-damaged skin, as the melanin in the skin absorbs the light energy and breaks up the color, removing the age spots, etc.
For chest and facial veins, the hemoglobin in the veins absorbs the light energy. For IPL vein treatment, we use the handpiece and direct short pulses of light energy down onto the surface skin above the spider vein. Because we have set the wavelength of the light energy to match the color of the unwanted vein, the blood in the vein absorbs the light energy. This heats the vein, causing the vein walls to become irritated and close off. Any blood in the vein is rerouted as detailed above, and the vein disappears. Over the course of the next few weeks, the body completely absorbs the unused vein and it eventually is completely removed.
What are the risks of laser and IPL removal of chest veins?
Just as with the hands, these are very low-risk procedures.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Contact our office to learn more about our Hand & Chest Veins services, or to make an appointment.