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Nd:YAG Laser (1064 nm) Irradiation for Lower Extremity Telangiectases and Small Reticular Veins: Efficacy as Measured by Vessel Color and Size



BACKGROUND Laser treatment of lower extremity telangiectases and small reticular veins has remained difficult because of vessel color, diameter, depth, and associated high-pressure flow. Traditionally, larger-caliber blue leg veins do not respond well to laser treatment. Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) irradiation is absorbed by oxyhemoglobin and reduced hemoblogin and is associated with greater depth of penetration than other previously studied vascular lasers.

OBJECTIVE To evaluate a millisecond contact-cooled 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser for the treatment of telangiectases and small reticular veins.

METHODS Twenty-one lower extremity sites, with Fitzpatrick skin types I–IV, received two laser treatments separated by a 4 to 6-week period. Blue and red vessels, ranging in size from 0.25 to 4.0 mm were treated. Pulse durations of 10–50 msec were utilized at fluences of 90–187 J/cm2. Three months after the last treatment, patients were evaluated for vessel improvement and complications.

RESULTS Seventy-one percent of lower extremity vessels had improvement graded as significant. All vessel colors and sizes were successfully treated. The only complication at 3 months was postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.

CONCLUSION 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser irradiation with associated contact cooling is a safe and effective treatment for telangiectases and small reticular veins of the lower extremities.

Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

A.S. Rogachefsky, MD, S. Silapunt, MD, and D.J. Goldberg, MD have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: David J. Goldberg, MD, Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, 20 Prospect Ave, Suite 702, Hackensack, NJ 07601

© 2002 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.
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