CLaCS (Cryo Laser Cryo Sclerotherapy)
Cryo Laser Cryo Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins and Prominent Veins of the Leg
The CLaCS procedure combines the technologies of laser, sclerotherapy, augmented reality, and skin cooling for anesthesia. The augmented reality is provided by the VeinViewer, a device that images veins up to 1.0 centimeter beneath the skin using infrared sensing. The image is then projected back on to the skin in real time. This enables the physician to see the feeder veins that would not be visible without the VeinViewer . The feeder veins are then treated with a transdermal laser, which causes a visible heat injury to the veins. Because of the wavelength of the laser, the energy is absorbed more by blood than skin. This allows selective damage to the vein (photothermolysis) without damage to the skin. These feeder veins, after being damaged by the laser, are then injected with a chemical sclerosant, again using the Vein Viewer images to guide the sclerotherapy injections. Following this the overlying spider veins of the skin are also treated with laser and injected. The whole procedure is done using a cryo unit that produces a continuous flow of cold air to the sites of application of the transdermal laser and sclerotherapy injections. The skin cooling serves to provide surface numbness during the procedure.
The results using the CLaCS procedure are far superior to conventional sclerotherapy for feeder veins and spider veins.
CLaCS – FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Cryo Laser Cryo Sclerotherapy
- Is it painful?
- How long before I see results?
- What results can I expect?
- What does it look like afterwards?
- How long will the CLaCS treatment take?
- How long will the spider veins stay away after successful CLaCS?
- Will I have to wear support stockings?
- What limitations will I have after the procedure?
- What does CLaCS involve?
- What are the risks?
- Why is CLaCS not available elsewhere?
- Why is CLaCS better than sclerotherapy alone or laser treatment alone?
- Is there anything I should avoid before or after the CLaCS treatment?
- Where does the blood go after the veins are shut down?
Is it painful?
The high flow of ice cold air directed onto the skin at the site of laser or needle application removes most of the discomfort, and most patients have little discomfort from the treatment. In patients who are especially sensitive, prior application of a skin numbing cream about an hour before treatment may be done.
How long before I see results?
The veins begin to clear after 2 to 3 weeks. A full response may take up to 2 months. Most of the resolution of the veins will be observed at about one month.
What results can I expect?
About a 70% clearing of veins is usual after the first session of CLaCS. Sometimes almost all are cleared.
What does it look like afterwards?
For the first 1-2 weeks the veins appear darker. As the veins begin to disappear the normal skin color returns.
How long will the CLaCS treatment take?
That of course depends on the extent of the spider veins and how much the patient wants to be treated. The average CLaCS treatment lasts about one hour. If a patient with many clusters of spider veins wants most or all treated during one treatment session, additional time may be scheduled.
How long will the spider veins stay away after successful CLaCS?
Since CLaCS targets the feeder veins, the developers of CLaCS and Dallas Vein Specialists believe strongly that the improvements after CLaCS will endure over time. But new spider veins can always develop.
Will I have to wear support stockings?
There is NO need to wear support stockings after the CLaCs treatment.
What limitations will I have after the procedure?
There are no limitations after treatment. A patient may return to work and usual activities. Exercise is permitted as well.
What does CLaCS involve?
There are 4 essential elements of CLaCS:
- Vigorous COOLING OF THE SKIN to reduce discomfort from laser and injections
- The use of AUGMENTED REALITY to visualize feeder veins so that they can be treated
- The application of a TRANSDERMAL LASER to the feeder veins and spider veins
- INJECTION OF THE FEEDER VEINS AND SPIDER VEINS with a chemical sclerosant (sclerotherapy)
What are the risks?
Tiny clots may develop in the spider veins or feeder veins that are treated. These pose no risk, will not travel in the circulation, and are limited to these veins. There is no increased risk for deep vein thrombosis.The risk for skin staining from the iron in clots does exist but is less than for traditional sclerotherapy. Blistering of the skin from the laser application is very rare.
Why is CLaCS not available elsewhere?
CLaCS is a new treatment in North America. It was developed and studied extensively in Brazil by some innovative vascular surgeons over many years. Dallas Vein Specialists has spent considerable time with these surgeons in Brazil and is the first to bring this technique and knowledge to the USA. As the CLaCS results are appreciated, the treatment technique will be adopted more and more. Surgeons are being educated and trained in the CLaCS technique, and it is now being used to the benefit of patients in Australia and southern Europe.
Why is CLaCS better than sclerotherapy alone or laser treatment alone?
There are several reasons why CLaCS is superior in outcome to other spider vein treatments. One principal reason is that the combination of laser and sclerotherapy (chemical injection of the spider veins) is synergistic, i. e. the 2 together work better than each done alone.
Another reason is that the feeder veins, which when present, are seen using augmented reality and are targeted for treatment. The presence of untreated feeder veins is the principal reason spider veins fail to respond to either laser or sclerotherapy alone. The untreated feeder veins are also often responsible for the return of the spider veins after treatment with either laser or sclerotherapy. Treatment of feeder veins that are seen best using augmented reality is a crucial part of the CLaCS treatment.
Is there anything I should avoid before or after the CLaCS treatment?
A patient should avoid using any artificial skin-tanning agents for at least 2 weeks prior to CLaCS.
There are no restrictions after CLaCS.
Where does the blood go after the veins are shut down?
The blood will always take another course into more efficient veins after feeder veins and spider veins are eliminated. Often there is stagnant flow or pooling of blood in these veins, which may cause discomfort. So one may think of eliminating these veins as an improvement in the circulation