Preserve Your Pretty: Non-Surgical Skin Rejuvenation #4, Laser

I have a sleeping disorder. It’s called children. I had always thought the bags under my eyes were as a result of one to three toddlers climbing into my bed at night. I haven’t slept through the night in roughly five years and became accustomed to hiding those effects with a great concealer and solid dose of sugar cookies before noon. I also thought the massive, throbbing veins under my eyes were only apparently during workouts however over the years, those veins became more prominent and noticeable while becoming less and less coverable.

 

For part four of my series, Preserve Your Pretty, famed Nashville plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Biesman and I are taking on laser treatments of veins around eyes and the magic that can be done with that technology. When Dr. Biesman first mentioned to me that laser would remove the veins, I immediately thought, “Pass.” While I know that lasers are used to correct all sorts of issues in and around the eye, I’ll be honest in saying that I was the swimmer who refused to put eye drops in my eyes. I simply don’t like anything touching my eyes. Dr. Biesman then went on to explain that metal contacts would be inserted in my eyes and I nearly covered my eyes in an immediate defensive position. I’ve never worn glasses or contacts so the thought of putting metal in there seemed horrifying. Per the calming nature of Dr. Biesman, I learned that the entire procedure would take less than 10 minutes so I decided to be a big girl and remove the veins that you can see are fairly prominent in the photo below.

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True to his description, my procedure took about eight minutes and true to my character, I did panic a bit with the insertion of the metal contacts. I’ve never worn glasses or contacts so the entire three-minute procedure of lifting up my eyelid to put in a contact was a bit unpleasant. By the time they were in though, it was only a few short minutes later until they were out. The laser was hot but again, it was so quick that it’s hard to even recall if I was in pain as I write this. The vein removal was immediate and although red, I could see improvement minutes after the procedure. I had expected my eyes to swell or bruise but much to my surprise, I was just a little red the next morning and with makeup, you couldn’t even tell I had the procedure.

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Many people do not like the appearance of veins on their eyelids, temples, and forehead and fortunately, laser is a fairly simple procedure. For those considering laser treatments, here are a few things Dr. Biesman feels you should know prior to having the procedure.

  • In some cases these veins are present from a young age and in others they appear as tissues become more thin over time

  • The eyelid veins may be larger and blue in color or smaller and red.  They may be oriented parallel to the eyelashes (usually blue veins) or perpendicular to the lashes (red or blue).  Veins in the temple and forehead may be red or blue. 

  • Lasers may be used to treat these unwanted vessels. 

  • Nearly all eyelid veins may be treated.

  • Most veins in the forehead and temple may be treated but others in these areas may be too large to treat safely

  • These veins are cosmetically undesirable but do not play a vital function so sealing them with a laser does not pose a danger to the health of the eye or other important structures

  • When treating small to medium sized vessels results are instantaneous; larger vessels may take a few weeks to fully respond

  • 1-2 treatments are typically necessary

  • Recurrence of these unwanted blood vessels after they have been treated is extremely uncommon although people who are prone to developing these may develop more over time

  • Protection of the eyes during treatment is critical.  This sometimes may be accomplished with little goggles and other times requires large contact-lens type protective eye shields

  • Risks are very low when performed by a knowledgeable and skilled surgeon.  Due to the delicate nature of the eyes, eyelids and surrounding structures, these treatments should only be performed by experienced experts.  

Although laser doesn’t remove dark circles, it can remove darkness due to the blue tone of the vein under the eye. In my particular case, I had a significant reduction in the darkness under my eyes because the vein was fairly prominent. If only putting my children to bed was as successful as the laser, I’d look and feel like a well-rested woman!

 The removal of the mental contact.

The removal of the mental contact.