Dr. Kevin Gavin, A Leading Podiatrist With Practices in Algonquin, IL, and Woodstock, IL, Discusses Why He Chose a Fotona Laser For Spider-Vein-Removal (And Why You Will Be Very Happy He Did):

As you might imagine, a laser is a serious investment.  When we decided to add a laser to our practice, we decided to bring our patients the best system on the market  — the one laser with 45 years of R&D behind it, and the one medical-aesthetic laser actually getting the kinds of results other laser companies could only dream of obtaining.

We chose the Fotona XP Focus Nd:YAG 1064nm long-pulse laser, specifically for its extraordinary effectiveness in three applications that stood out even beyond more traditional podiatry procedures:

  • The Destruction of Warts
  • The Elimination of Spider Veins
  • The Perfect Removal of Hair

Why this particular laser for these three applications?

Put simply: A Fotona laser gets the job done, where other lasers can’t. And what's more, it gets the job done safely, where other lasers don't.

Other lasers cannot match the results that a Fotona laser can achieve, and the reason they can't measure up ultimately comes down to the laser physics and the laser optics involved. There are several aspects of the science behind the Fotona laser that makes it so much safer and more effective than other lasers on the market, and these particulars stand out especially clear when it comes to talking about using the laser to remove spider veins on the lower legs.

The laser physics making the Fotona so superior is actually fairly easy to explain.

In the case of the Fotona Nd:YAG laser, the superior Fotona technology really comes down to its effectiveness at targeting blood (hemoglobin) as a medium for collecting heat.

All three of the treatments mentioned above — including other popular podiatry procedures — involve using the laser to properly and safely target hemoglobin.

Wart Removal

* Objective: destroying the virus by heating the blood beneath the wart (essentially cook the virus dead) while cutting off the blood supply feeding the warts.

Spider Vein Removal

* Objective: destroying the cells in the hair follicle by targeting the blood there (without overheating the skin or the surrounding tissue).

Hair Removal

* Objective: destroying the cells in the hair follicle by targeting the blood there (without overheating the skin or the surrounding tissue).

And again, what makes the Fotona laser special in regard to all of these treatments is its superior, industry-leading Laser Physics and Laser Optics.

Laser Physics Critical Advantage #1
The Nd:YAG 1064nm Wavelength

Different laser wavelengths target different things. Most of the lasers on the market (probably 90% or more) target melanin, which is the pigment in your skin and hair. The problem with this is that it leads to overheating the surface of the skin, which in turn leads to poor results and even burning or scorching.

The Fotona laser, however, uses a long-pulse Nd:YAG 1064nm wavelength, which is attracted to hemoglobin. What this means is, the beam passes through the skin as if it weren't even there (making it safe on all skin types and indifferent to skin pigment or even your tan). This wavelength goes straight to where we want it to go: to the hemoglobin itself.

So where other lasers overheat the skin and often cause extreme pain and burning and scorching, the Fotona Nd:YAG wavelength passes straight through the skin, targeting the hemoglobin beneath — making it more effective in what it does, safer to the patient, and far more comfortable during treatments.

And where a few other Nd:YAG lasers on the market are at least using the correct wavelength, unfortunately they also make use of what is called a “quasi-continuous beam," which fails to achieve the controlled temperatures required to actually destroy certain structures or wipe out warts or perform accurate vein-removal treatments and hair-removal treatments. The Fotona Nd:YAG, on the other hand, has a true long-pulse delivery of its wavelength, putting the right amount of heat right where it needs to go in order to achieve real results.

Fotona simply has the most effective (and ideally suited) wavelength available for procedures involving — for one reason or another — the controlled heating of hemoglobin.

Laser Physics Critical Advantage #2
Patented Top-Hat Beam Profile

Fotona has been leading worldwide research and development in lasers for 45 years. Along the way they discovered a perfectly unique way to accomplish something no one else has figured out how to duplicate: a perfect "top-hat” or “flat-top” beam profile. And here’s the interesting part: they patented how they did it.

Now, what every other laser on the market has is what is called a "Gaussian” beam profile. What that means is, with each pulse of their lasers, you end up with an overheated hot spot right in the middle of the pulse (where there is too much energy), a small circle around this that is just right, and then a wider circle around that where the energy falls off and is weak or ineffectual.

Having a hot spot in the center of each pulse and a sloppy fall-off of energy on the edges hardly makes for an accurate or safe laser treatment.

The Fotona beam profile, on the other hand, is the cleanest and most uniform beam profile in the world. Because of its patented technology, there is no hot spot in the Fotona beam pulse, and no fall-off at the edges. Every pulse delivered is perfect. (Indeed, every pulse is perfectly calibrated 5 times by two separate sensors inside the laser before it is ever even permitted to fire.) Every pulse has perfect, uniform heating. No hot spots, no fall-off — which means a safer and more effective treatment every time.

Laser Physics Critical Advantage #3
Superior Pulse Dynamics

Another patented innovation from Fotona is its Variable Square Pulse (VSP) technology. Not only is every pulse calibrated 5 times before it even leaves the laser (we will talk more about that next), but each pulse is delivered without the slow rise and long-tail fall-off in energy typical of the pulses from other lasers. Each pulse from a Fotona laser is perfectly controlled.

What's more, the pulses from a Fotona laser can be adjusted to precisely the right spot sizes for each treatment, and even more importantly, each pulse can be delivered with the perfectly ideal "pulse width" (or pulse duration) — meaning the length of time the heat is delivered during each pulse.

Most lasers deliver their pulses from between 0.1 and 1.0 milliseconds. In effect, they zap, without giving the heat from the pulse time to build up properly, for instance at the base of a wart being cut off from its blood supply or in the vein being targeted or hair follicle being removed. You can almost think of such short pulse widths as "splashing" their energy too quickly to heat anything enough to achieve real results, which is another reason they tend to overheat at the surface but fail to fill the hemoglobin with enough heat to accomplish real results. (This is a big reason why so few lasers on the market can properly remove veins.)

The Fotona laser has a widely adjustable pulse width, and in our procedures we typically use settings from 15 to 45 milliseconds — meaning that we deliver the heat of each pulse 15 to 45 times longer with our Fotona laser than other lasers are capable of achieving.

This kind of pulse duration, combined with that perfectly even heating of the flat-top beam profile, allows us to accumulate heat exactly where we want it, safely, efficiently. This is one of the main reasons our laser is able to build up the heat necessary to cut off the blood supply to a wart, why it is able to provide “full-volume” heating of the blood in a vein being removed, and why it is able to build up the precisely necessary heat in the blood supply of a hair follicle.

Laser Physics Critical Advantage #4
Energy Feedback Control

Every pulse from the Fotona laser is calibrated in 2-millisecond micro-pulses ... five times a second ... by two separate sensors monitored by a third master sensor ... before the pulse ever leaves the laser.

The Fotona laser calibrates itself. Constantly.

Every pulse delivered from a Fotona laser is perfectly calibrated before it leaves the laser. The beam is built in the laser itself, not in the hand piece, and because of this the results of your treatments are uniform and consistent. And since no manual calibrations are necessary, much of the operator error possible with other systems is eliminated, once again making the Fotona the safest laser on the market.

Vein Removal Procedures

Very few lasers on the market can successfully eliminate spider veins. The reason, again, is that they build up too much heat on the surface of the skin, they have a hot spot in the middle of each pulse, and they deliver each pulse too quickly to obtain any real heating of the blood in the vein being targeted. As a result, most lasers that can even be used in attempting the procedure only manage to fry the uppermost part of the vein, leaving the rest of it intact, so it can heal itself in a very short amount of time.

The Fotona laser, on the other hand, targets hemoglobin, delivers a perfectly clean, immaculate pulse, and has the longest pulse-width (or pulse duration), which means it can pass through the skin unhindered, target the hemoglobin, and pour in the energy slowly enough to achieve full-volume heating of the vein and destroy the vein walls so that it is absorbed into the body.

Once the veins are treated by the laser, the absorption of the cooked blood can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on your body's response. And since your body will naturally try to heal itself and rebuild the veins, we will want to repeat the procedure where necessary after six weeks to be sure we have kept any veins from coming back.

To help ensure that they don't come back, you will be asked to wear an ace bandage for 48 to 72 hours following the procedure, and you will want to avoid hot baths and any exercise that would increase the volume of blood to that area.

The only possible side effect to the procedure is that you may (in only a fraction of the cases) experience a little light bruising in the area. This is an effect called hemosiderin staining, where the blood we've heated with the laser diffuses under the skin and causes a little browning effect. This passes as your body absorbs it. And again, it only happens in a fraction of the cases, and it goes away.

To Recap — Why the Fotona Nd:YAG Laser?

Put simply, this is the one laser that gets the job DONE, across all of these applications. Other lasers on the market cannot even begin to come close.

And the Fotona laser accomplishes these results SAFELY, because of patented innovations in its laser physics and optics.

We chose our laser with careful deliberation, and specifically because we wanted the best possible results for YOU.

Call either office of Dr. Kevin Gavin today or send a short message from the Request an Appointment page, and set up a time to come in for a quick consultation. We would love to be of help to you and give you the opportunity of taking advantage of the finest laser treatments in the world — all from the comfort of nearby Algonquin or Woodstock, IL.

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