Laser treatments are now a routine procedure for the removal of many types of vascular lesions, including hemangiomas, vascular malformations such as port-wine stains, telangiectasias (AKA broken capillaries) and angiomas.
The targeted chromophore for vascular lesions is intravascular oxyhemoglobin; thus, thermal damage is largely restricted to cutaneous blood vessels. The energy from the laser is absorbed by the blood in the vein and converted into heat, and the vein walls are subsequently destroyed. Compared with other wavelengths, which mainly affect the surface layers of a lesion, Nd: YAG light also targets the underlying vascular feeding system, which is important for ensuring the long-term efficacy of the treatment. This process is perfectly safe as other healthy veins supply blood to the treated area, and the body’s immune system clears away the dead tissue, just as with a bruise.