New treatment to zap spider veins

November 20, 2013

Treatments have been uncomfortable or taken many sessions to get results.

There is a new option, which could cut the time in half - or even less.

Debbie Tuccillo keeps her legs covered regardless of the season.

"I don't really like to wear shorts," said Debbie. "I always feel like I have to wear light hose."

Spider veins have made her self-conscious since she was in her 20s.

"I've tried everything under the sun - injections, different lasers," said Debbie.

She gave up hunting for a solution, until she read about a new technique - the Excel V light treatment.

Dr. David Vasily says Excel V combines what he used to do with two devices, putting two wavelengths of light into one machine.

"The green light is more suitable for treating red vessels," said Dr. Vasily. "The infrared - the other wavelength - is more for blue vessels."

The bursts of light cause the blood vessels to close down. They will gradually be absorbed by the body.

Tuccillo says it does sting when the device fires, but a cooling gel eases that.

And Dr. Vasily says he reduces discomfort another way. He gives blue spider veins, which need more light energy a shot of green light first, then he can use less of the harsher infrared light to close the vessel down.

"In one setting, I can get done what used to take 2-3 sessions," said Dr. Vasily.

For a few weeks after treatment, the spider veins will look red and swollen, but that can be helped with a topical steroid treatment.

There are no standard restrictions on activity, and the redness usually fades in a few weeks. Any vessels that don't close down can be treated again in 6 weeks.

Debbie says trouble spots like are now barely noticeable after treatment.

"It probably took me a few weeks to notice the changes, and now there's just one little area of my thigh that needs a touchup," she said.

Debbie says she is actually looking forward to summer.

"I'll be in my shorts," she said.

Dr. Vasily says depending on the size of the spider veins and a person's skin type, it could take from 3 weeks to 4 months for them to go away.

Excel V does have settings for various complexions, to decrease the chance of overexposure or pigment changes. It can also be used for veins on the face, as well as rosacea.

It costs $475 per treatment, but most people need fewer sessions to get good results.

Other centers offering Excel V treatments include:

* Dr. Eric Bernstein, Main Line Center for Laser Surgery, in Ardmore, Pa.

* Virtua Surgical Group (vascular specialists) in Cherry Hill, N.J.

* Dr. Benjamin Schlechter, in Wyomissing, Pa.

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