Is Using a Laser to Remove Spider Veins 100% Effective?

I have heard the AFT laser can help but how much? I am only 29 but do want to have surgery for removal. If the AFT laser is not the best option what is?

Doctor Answers 7

No treatment is 100% effective for veins

Greetings Sassy~

Unfortunately, no treatment is 100% effective and most come with no guarantee as to percentage of improvement.  In our practice, we have found lasers (Nd:YAG, KTP, and Pulsed Dye) and sclerotherapy to be most effective for the treatment of leg veins.  Any of these treatments mentioned (including the AFT) are really only as good as the person operating the device or performing the make sure you choose your practitioner wisely.

Take care~

Good luck

Dr. Grant Stevens   

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Spider veins best treated with Sclerotherapy

I almost never use lasers to treat spider veins on the legs.  While similar looking spider veins on the face called telangiectasia can respond to a number of lasers, those on the legs almost always do best with sclerotherapy.  This is because of the varying sizes and depth of veins on the legs, which are very difficult to target with a laser.  Sclerotherapy, on the other hand, requires tiny injections into the spider veins-- a single injection can treat an entire cluster of veins.  This makes it much more effective and less likely to cause problems such as pain and pigmentation.  The only time I use lasers on the legs is if someone is terribly afraid of needles or have really tiny veins that are too small to be injected.  With that said, no one can guarantee  you that any treatment is 100% effective.  Several treatments with sclerotherapy is usually required and you will likely get more with time.


Good Luck!

Margaret Mann, MD
Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Are lasers 100% Effective for Spider Veins?

Hi Sassy.  Almost no treatment is 100% effective.  That goes for sclerotherapy and lasers alike.  We see excellent results using a long pulsed Nd:Yg laser for spider veins (we use the Sction Profile and the Laserscope Lyra).  We would not use AFT as this is an IPL (not a laser) and will likely not render good results for spider veins.

The problem with spider veins is that they can't be "cured".  It's likely that whatever method you choose to remove them, that at some point in the future some will come back.  They are managed rather then permanently removed.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Are lasers 100% effective for spider veins ?

The short answer is NO.

No treatments are 100% effective in medicine. 

No vein procedures are 100% effective. Some laser vein procedures need multiple treatments to be effective.

As well, no procedure is "durable" meaning that having a laser vein procedure with Nd YAG for spider veins or sclerotherapy for spider veins does not guarantee that you will not develop OTHER spider veins in the future. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Vein Treatment

No laser is always 100% effective.  Spider veins have several lasers that would be appropriate, but first an assessment with a Board Certified Dermatologist and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Treating Spider Veins

As previously mentioned, no procedure is 100 percent effective at eliminating each and every vein and results will vary from person to person. My experience with laser treatment for small blood vessels in the leg has been positive in general and I typically prefer this to injections. If the laser seems to not work for you, I might then utilize injections in an attempt to create improvement. Usually you will obtain somewhere between a 70 and 90 percent diminishing of the veins after two to three laser treatments. The number of treatments required will depend on the extent and number of vessels that need to be treated. Your best bet is to consult with a trusted plastic surgeon who can take a look at you and give his or her best recommendations.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

100% anything???

Almost nothing is 100% all the time everything, etc.  Spiders can be treated with injection, laser, light, and other treatments.  Usually it is not 100% effective, and so may require repeated treatments.  Another thing, as you go along in your life, you will develop new ones that will require treatment. 

Therefore, think of it as a tune up type of procedure that from time to time needs to be done.  Also, carefully understand risks involved and be sure that you can accept them.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.