Vascular Lesion

Vascular Lesion Laser Treatment in Toronto and Richmond Hill Clinics



Vascular lesions include skin conditions that arise from or influence blood or lymphatic vessels, such as tumours, malformations, and inflammatory diseases. A vascular anomaly is any range of lesions from birthmarks to large tumours. Lasers have become integral to managing hemangiomas and vascular malformations of many types. Patient outcomes have improved with discoveries in laser technology and technique.


Cutaneous vascular lesions include skin diseases that arise from or influence blood or lymphatic vessels, such as tumours, malformations, and inflammatory diseases. While some vascular lesions are easily detected clinically using methods such as skin surface microscopy, others can be difficult to differentiate because many have similar dermoscopic features.

There are other ways to treat this issue, but the most popular method is laser treatment for cutaneous vascular lesions. This treatment method has progressed significantly over the past 30 years.

One of the most common applications of lasers in dermatology is the treatment of the vascular lesion. Lasers have generally become the treatment for vascular birthmarks such as hemangiomas, port-wine stains, and rosacea telangiectasia. The number of congenital and acquired vascular lesions that can be efficiently treated with lasers is growing.

Multiple cutaneous vascular lesions, including telangiectasias, port wine stains (PWS; sometimes known as port wine birthmarks), and infantile hemangiomas, are treated with lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL). During treatment, light energy absorption by intravascular oxyhemoglobin causes heating and coagulation of lesioned blood vessels. The type of light source employed, the clinical characteristics of the target lesion, and patient-specific factors all influence how vascular lesions respond to therapy (e.g., skin colour, patient age).

Although laser and IPL therapy can provide clinical benefits, the procedure is not without risks. If clinicians are not careful, injuries can result, involving areas such as the skin or eyes. Using suitable equipment settings, skin cooling systems, and other safety measures reduces the occurrence of treatment-related injuries and adverse effects.

Laser irradiation can selectively kill specific targets (chromophores) within the skin by employing an appropriate wavelength, pulse duration, and energy setting. To prevent damage to adjacent structures, the pulse duration must be less than or equal to the chromophore’s targeted thermal relaxation time, i.e. the time required for the target to cool by half its peak temperature following laser irradiation. Because the energy deposited in the tissue is restricted to specific locations, considerable thermal diffusion to the surrounding skin is avoided.

Furthermore, because the wavelengths correspond to absorption peaks for distinct skin chromophores, laser energy absorption can be concentrated without causing damage to surrounding structures. Because intravascular oxyhemoglobin is the targeted chromophore for vascular lesions, thermal damage is limited mainly to cutaneous blood vessels. The major oxyhemoglobin absorption peaks are at 418, 542, and 577 nm, with the latter being optimum.

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Who's at risk?

A typical candidate has diffuse redness (many fine blood vessels appearing), specific troublesome linear blood vessels, or both. The face, particularly the nose, is the most typically treated area. The treatment may take up to a month to take full effect, but the result is permanent. On the other hand, people who have an excess of blood vessels may develop new vessels that will necessitate treatment in the future.

Vascular Lesion Treatment Procedure

There are various versions of a “normal session” in laser vascular lesion treatment, and what happens throughout the session varies on the technology utilized. If the treatment is uncomfortable, numbing cream is sometimes applied 30–90 minutes before the procedure. The patient will lie on an exam bed, and the area will be cleansed to remove any makeup before the treatment. Everyone in the room must wear eye protection once the treatment area has been identified and confirmed by the patient. Metal-lined adhesive pads, goggles, or eye shields, either over or under the eyelid, are some of the eye protection options available to patients.

The doctor will use the following program to the equipment with the necessary settings and select a handpiece. The handpiece is placed on the skin, and the pulse of laser energy is fired using either a trigger or a foot pedal, targeting a 1–3 cm area of skin. The feeling during the treatment is fleeting, and each laser pulse is commonly characterized as a warm pin-prick. Treatment timeframes vary depending on the size of the region to be treated and the equipment employed, but they typically last 15–30 minutes.

What outcome should patients expect? 

Lesions may dissolve entirely after 1-2 treatments or require a series of treatments, depending on the condition. The patient must follow post-operative care requirements, such as limiting sun exposure and applying broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly.

How to prepare for a vascular lesion laser session:

  • Avoid getting tanned — Stay out of the sun during the day, use sunscreen with a high SPF, and wear UV-protective clothing (e.g., a hat and tightly woven clothing).
  • If necessary, apply numbing cream 30–90 minutes before the surgery.
  • Avoid drugs and supplements that increase the likelihood of bruising (only if quitting any of the following medications has been discussed with your doctor):
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Vitamin E
  • Fish oil supplements
  • Prescription blood-thinning medications

Success rates

Treatment techniques are frequently based on the patient’s skin type. There is a more significant risk of problems with particular disorders or skin types. It is critical for the patient to do their homework ahead of time to find a practitioner who has the necessary skills and experience to perform the treatment.

Q & A

What are vascular lesions?
Lesions of the blood vessels, including veins, arteries, and capillaries, constitute vascular lesions. They may appear as raised or flat red, purple, or blue spots on the epidermis.

What kinds of vascular lesions can lasers treat?
Lasers can be used to treat spider veins, port-wine stains, hemangiomas, and venous lake lesions, among others. Spider veins are tiny, dilated blood vessels that appear close to the skin’s surface, whereas port wine stains are larger, darker red or purple birthmarks.

How are vascular lesions treated using lasers?
Lasers emit a concentrated beam of light that is absorbed by blood vessels within a lesion, causing them to heat up and ultimately collapse. The laser is calibrated to emit the wavelength of light that is most effective for treating the type of lesion being treated.

Is laser treatment for vascular lesions painful?
Laser treatment for vascular lesions is generally non-painful and minimally invasive. A topical anesthetic may be applied to the epidermis to numb the treatment area, but in most cases anesthesia is unnecessary.

How many laser treatments are required for vascular lesion treatment?
The number of laser treatments required to treat a vascular lesion is dependent on the lesion’s size and nature. Spider veins may require between one and three treatments, whereas port wine stains may necessitate numerous treatments spaced out over several weeks.

Is laser treatment for vascular lesions permanent?
Permanent laser treatment for vascular lesions is possible, but new lesions may develop over time if the underlying cause of the lesion is not addressed. For instance, spider veins may return if the individual continues to engage in risk-increasing behaviours, such as protracted sitting or standing.

Is laser treatment for vascular lesions associated with any risks?
Laser therapy for vascular lesions is generally safe, but there is a small chance of skin injury, scarring, or pigmentation changes. Laser treatment may rarely induce an allergic reaction or an infection. Before undergoing laser treatment, individuals should discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with their healthcare provider.

How long does it take to recuperate from vascular lesion laser treatment?
Recovery time after laser treatment for vascular lesions is typically minimal, and the majority of patients can promptly resume normal activities. Nonetheless, some redness, swelling, or moderate discomfort may occur and typically subside after a few days. To safeguard the affected area from sun exposure, sunscreen should be applied.

Are there any restrictions after vascular lesion laser treatment?
After laser treatment for vascular lesions, sun exposure should be avoided and sunscreen should be applied to protect the treated area. A few days after treatment, they should also avoid hot baths, saunas, and other activities that may cause excessive perspiration.

Can vascular lesion laser treatment be used on all skin types?
Most skin types are suitable for laser treatment of vascular lesions, but individuals with darker skin may be more susceptible to skin injury or changes in skin pigmentation. The medical professional will evaluate this and adjust the laser settings accordingly.

Is vascular lesion laser treatment reimbursed by insurance?
In most cases, laser treatment for vascular lesions is considered a cosmetic procedure and is therefore not covered by insurance. However, individuals should validate coverage with their insurance provider.

How long does it take to treat vascular lesions with a laser?
The duration of a laser treatment for vascular lesions is dependent on the lesion’s size and nature. Most treatments last between 15 and 60 minutes. Large port wine stains might require multiple treatments over the course of several months.

Is there a recovery period following laser treatment for vascular lesions?

After laser treatment for vascular lesions, there is typically no delay, and patients can resume normal activities immediately. Nonetheless, some redness, swelling, or moderate discomfort may occur and typically subside after a few days. Individuals may be instructed to avoid certain activities, such as vigorous exercise and solar exposure, for a few days following treatment.

Can other therapies be combined with laser treatment for vascular lesions?
Laser treatment for vascular lesions can be combined with other treatments, such as sclerotherapy or topical medications, for optimal results. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the affected blood vessel to cause it to collapse, while topical medications may be used to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

What should individuals consider when selecting a provider for laser treatment of vascular lesions?
Individuals contemplating laser treatment for vascular lesions should seek out a provider who has experience treating vascular lesions with lasers and who employs the most advanced technology. The practitioner should be board-certified in dermatology or plastic surgery and have specialized training in laser treatment. In addition, it is essential to schedule a consultation to discuss treatment objectives and expectations and learn more about the treatment procedure. The healthcare provider should explain the risks and benefits of laser treatment, in addition to any potential alternatives.


Vascular lesions are a group of conditions that involve the abnormal formation and growth of blood vessels in the body. These lesions can be present at birth or develop over time and may affect various soft tissues, such as subcutaneous tissues or muscles. 

The most common vascular lesions include vascular malformations, venous malformations, lymphatic malformations, tumors, and pyogenic granulomas. The diagnosis and treatment of vascular lesions can involve several methods, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize the lesion and surgical excision for removal. 

Treatment options may also include non-surgical approaches, such as medication or laser therapy. Endothelial cells play a critical role in the development of vascular lesions, and the long-term effectiveness of treatment depends on the ability to target and disrupt these cells. 

Although some vascular lesions can be cured with treatment, others may require ongoing management due to their potential to recur. Vascular lesions can also be associated with certain medical conditions, such as Weber Syndrome, and may cause functional impairment or cosmetic concerns.

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