Mr A. O. Grobbelaar  MBChB  MMed(Plast)  FCS(SA)(Plast)  FRCS(Plast)

Laser Surgery - Vascular Lesions

 

Introduction

Vascular lesions or red marks on the skin are normally made up of a network of blood vessels. The type of vascular lesion as well as its location can determine whether a particular vascular specific laser is suitable. The target of the laser in vascular lesions is normally the haemoglobin in the blood vessels. The laser light therefore selectively destroys the abnormal blood vessels. Several lasers can be used although the gold standard is still the pulse dye laser for vascular lesions.

The treatment

Can be performed on an outpatient basis. Multiple treatment sessions may be necessary to destroy a vascular lesion effectively. Treatment sessions are normally repeated every 6-8 weeks to give the skin in the area treated time to recover. A local anaesthetic cream may be requiredfor the treatment of large areas.

Side-effects

Bruising will appear in the area after the treatment and may be grey or blue-black in colour. Swelling may occur especially under the eyes and in the neck but will subsides within 5 days. Hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin can occur in treated areas and normally fades within 2-6 months. Hypo-pigmentation normally occurs in an area previously treated and will usually re-pigment within 6 months. Scarring is extremely rare.

After the treatment

Avoid sun exposure and apply a topical antibiotic treatment to the treated areas twice daily for 7 days. A mild non-irritating soap can be used twice daily on the treated areas. An ice pack may be useful to reduce swelling. Some vascular lesions may not go away completely despite multiple treatments.

If you require further information or want to schedule a consultation please contact Mr. Grobbelaar's secretary details on the Contact page