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Skin Folds and Wrinkles

Fillers

Dermatologic Fillers are used to reduce wrinkles and signs of aging on the face. Brands used include:

  • Juvederm®
  • Perlane®
  • Radiesse®
  • Restylane®
  • Belotero®

About Juvéderm®

Juvéderm® is a smooth consistency gel made of hyaluronic acid: a naturally occurring substance in the skin that helps to add volume and hydration. It is injected under the skin to provide a smooth, natural look and feel. Studies show superior results of Juvéderm® compared to a collagen-based dermal filler. In addition, Juvéderm® injectable gel is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler that is proven to be safe and effective for persons of color.

About Perlane® Treatments

Perlane® is a product made by the Swedish Company Q-Med Esthetics – the makers of Restylane®. Like Restylane® it is made of stabilized sterile hyaluronic acid but it is intended for the treatment of deeper wrinkles and folds such as the nasolabial fold. Perlane® contains no animal products. Since hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the skin and other tissue, there is no need for a skin test when using Perlane® filler.

About RADIESSE®

Radiesse® is made of calcium hydroxylapatite and is often used in the lower half of the face to improve skin folds and deep wrinkles, and to sharpen the jaw line. The results can be seen immediately after injection of Radiesse® and often last over 12 months. Some temporary swelling or bruising may occur.

About Restylane®

Restylane® is a product made by the Swedish Company Q-Med Esthetics made of stabilized sterile hyaluronic acid for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, for enhancing lips, and for filling acne scars. It has been used in Europe for years and has been recently approved by the FDA for treatment in the United States. Hyaluronic acid is a material found in the mid-portion of the skin in which collagen and elastin sit and helps to give skin its substance and integrity. It is diminished in the aging process. Restylane® is a non-animal derived gel-like substance and unlike collagen, does not need any allergy tests before treatment. It has been found to last 6-8 months on average.

Botox

Botox

Botulinum toxin, or botox, injections may ease symptoms in some patients with motility disorders.

Facial wrinkles occur due to a combination of aged, sun-damaged skin and the chronic action of the underlying muscles. Until recently, methods of renewing the skin abounded, but no treatment was available for the over-dynamic muscles. A series of precise, usually painless, injections of Botox, will relax the facial musculature, especially in areas such as the forehead, frown lines (between the eyebrows) and around the eyes. The result is softening or disappearance of wrinkles. This concept has revolutionized treatment of wrinkles in the upper third of the face.

Although Botox is sufficient in many cases, ideally it is used with skin resurfacing to optimize results. It is one of the most popular methods of facial rejuvenation in the United States today and has been approved by the FDA for cosmetic indications (under names BOTOX®, Dysport®, or Xeomin®). Other uses include treatment of neckbands and jaw reduction.

How does Botox work?
Botox works by selectively and temporarily paralyzing the muscles into which it is injected. The rationale for its use is that one can inject a chemical that selectively inhibits the action of muscles in certain hyperdynamic areas (like the forehead), then this in turn will eliminate the wrinkles which are caused by that muscle action.

How long do the Botox injections last, and are additional treatments required?
The effect of one Botox treatment usually lasts 3 to 4 months, after which re-treatment is required. After three to four simultaneous treatments, however, the Botox effects become more long lasting, as the muscles that cause the wrinkles begin to lose their strength and develop atrophy. Minimizing the use of treated muscles by controlling animation will help Botox last longer. The best time to re-treat is as soon as the muscle is starting to move.

What are the possible side effects?
Temporary bruising is possible and is minimized by avoiding aspirin-like products and Vitamin E for 1 week before injections and alcohol for 3 days before injections. Mild headaches can occur and usually resolve with Tylenol. A slight change in the shape of the eyebrow is possible. Drooping of the eyelid is rare and usually resolves within a few days.

Are there any post-Injection precautions?
Patients will need to keep their heads elevated for 3 hours if frown lines are treated. It is important to utilize the treated area for the first 3 hours to help the drug diffuse well. Mild exercise is allowed 4 hours after the treatment.

How quickly does it act?
Botox usually works within 2-4 days. The maximum benefit is seen at 14 days.

Does it hurt?
We use the smallest possible needles and ice to maximize patient comfort. Most people tolerate Botox extremely well.

Fees
Our fees are carefully selected to be reasonable. Each cosmetic area requires a different amount of Botox. In addition, within any given cosmetic area (e.g. lateral eyebrows and underneath the eyes) additional areas can be treated. A small additional fee applies to these small extra areas.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy

This is a medical treatment that uses focused light. Surgeons can focus on a small area and damage less of the surrounding tissue. Patients who have laser therapy may experience less pain, swelling, and scarring than with traditional surgery.

 

The BU Cosmetic & Laser Center has the latest equipment to safely and effectively perform a variety of laser procedures on patients of all skin types and tones including VBeam®, StarLux®, GentleMax®, and UltraPulse® among others.

  • Laser for Vascular Lesions
  • Laser for Brown Lesions
  • Laser Resurfacing
  • Laser for Tattoo Removal
  • Laser Hair Removal for All Skin Types
  • StarLux® Laser

The Boston University Cosmetic & Laser Center offers a variety of different laser procedures for all ages, skin types and skin tones. All procedures are performed by a team of skin care physicians, dermatologists, and specialists to ensure comfortable and effective treatment.

Dozens of popular skin care procedures are offered for men and women in the areas of anti-aging, hair removal, resurfacing, tattoo removal, and pigmentation changes. All treatments are performed using state-of-the-art lasers and equipment.

Our areas of expertise include:

Not sure which procedure is right for you? Contact our office to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.

Laser Therapy for Vascular Lesions

What is a benign vascular lesion?

Benign vascular lesions are overgrown enlarged blood vessels or multiple small vessels. There is a way to treat these vessels, safely, easily, and effectively with the VBeam® laser for vascular lesions by targeting the red blood cells which in turn heat and damage the vessels.

What kind of vascular lesions are treated with the laser?

The laser can treat vascular lesions such as telangiectasias or spider veins, port wine stain birthmarks, and strawberry hemangiomas. Leg veins up to 2 mm. wide can be eliminated. What all these conditions have in common is that they are made up of abnormal blood vessels in the skin. They all vary in severity for example, telangiectasias, or broken blood vessels, usually involve single vessels and are often harmless. Port wine stains, on the other hand, tend to grow with the patient, usually infants, darken in color and will never go away if left untreated. Hemangiomas grow very rapidly after birth but often go away with time. Some, however, may impair vision or breathing and should be treated before they are allowed to advance to this stage. In addition, warts, red and raised scars, and inflammatory lesions such as psoriasis can be treated by targeting their rich vascular supply.

Why is treatment with a laser safe and effective?

The laser is safe and effective because of its unique ability to treat the blood vessels of a vascular lesion selectively, without adversely affecting the surrounding tissue. Thus, it will eliminate many lesions while leaving the surrounding skin intact. In fact, the laser is so safe that it is recommended for the treatment of infants as young as a few weeks old.

Is treatment with the laser painful?

The laser is equipped with an attached cooling device that minimizes pain. Most patients tolerate treatments without the need for anesthesia, although treatments of larger lesions may be less comfortable.

What does treatment involve?

Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending on the type of lesion and the size of the affected area. Some lesions, like small broken vessels, will require only a few pulses, while others, like port wine stains, will require many more. Leg veins will sometimes require more than one treatment.

Should certain precautions be taken after treatment?

Immediately following treatment, some patients may want to use an ice pack to soothe the treated area. Some may need a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. In addition, care should be taken in the first few days following treatment to avoid abrasive skin cleansers and to avoid scrubbing the area. A bandage or patch may be helpful in preventing abrasion of the treated area.

Are there any side effects?

Unlike other methods of treatment, the laser greatly reduces the potential for scarring or changes in the skin texture. Patients will experience some temporary discoloration of the skin around the treatment site. This blue-grey discoloration is called purpura and usually resolves in 5-7 days. When treating leg veins, however, the purpura may last from 7-14 days. Also, depending on the patient's skin type, and the site and size of lesion treated, some may experience a temporary brown discoloration of the skin for a few weeks following treatment, but this is always transient. These side effects can often be minimized with proper preoperative and postoperative care. The laser can be used with much less purpura but additional treatments might be necessary.

Are there any other precautions that I should know about?

Optimal results will be achieved with the laser if you are not suntanned. It is also recommended that patients avoid exposing the treated area to the sun or cover the area with sun block that has been approved by the physician. Because pigment is often closer to the surface of the skin than the blood vessels of a lesion, a lot of pigment, such as in "tanned" or deeply pigmented skin, may act as a barrier to prevent the laser light from reaching the lesion. Therefore, the laser is most effective on lighter skin types.

Are there any alternative treatments for leg veins?

Sclerotherapy is an alternative treatment for leg veins. This involves an injection to induce sclerosis of the undesired vessel. A series of injections along the path of the vessel are done, and compression for a few days may be necessary. Depending on the type of unwanted leg veins, sclerotherapy may be recommended as an adjunct to or as an alternative to laser therapy.

 

Laser Therapy for Brown Lesions or Brown Spots

What is a pigmented lesion and which ones can be treated with laser?

The most commonly treated conditions are solar lentigines, also known as “age spots,” “liver spots,” or “sun spots”; café au lait birthmarks; and freckles. These benign, pigmented lesions are due to an excess of pigment in the skin, usually due to sunlight exposure and congenital factors. Age spots may appear as enlarged light freckles on the face and hands. Café au lait birthmarks may appear as light brown markings anywhere on the body and can be quite large.

What does the treatment involve?

Treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the type of lesion, size of the affected area, color of the patient’s skin and depth to which the abnormal pigment extends beneath the surface of the skin. Some lesions, such as “age spots,” will require only a few pulses, while others, such as café au lait birthmarks, will require more. Some lesions require re-treatment, necessitating multiple patient visits.

Is treatment with the laser painful?

Treatment with the laser is more comfortable and requires less recovery time than some other treatment methods. Most patients do not require anesthesia. In some very rare cases, depending on the nature and the location of the lesion and the patient’s age, the physician may elect to use some topical anesthesia. Pigmented lesions that have not been effectively removed by other treatments may respond well to our laser therapy, providing prior treatment did not cause excessive scarring or skin damage.

Laser Resurfacing

The latest method to treat wrinkles, acne scars, and burn scars is with highly sophisticated lasers. The UltraPulse® Laser targets water, which constitutes about 75% of the skin, thus vaporizing skin with each pass of the laser beam. The UltraPulse® laser gives physicians unprecedented control over the process, gently and precisely removing the unwanted surface layers of the skin cells.

Which lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and burn scars can be treated with the UltraPulse® laser?

The physician uses the UltraPulse® laser like an artist’s brush, tailoring the skin rejuvenation procedure to individual needs. Fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth can be smoothed. Acne scars, burn scars, and some surgical scars can be minimized. The surface of the skin is usually totally rejuvenated and new collagen buildup adds to a younger look and feel to skin. The process of skin tightening continues for up to 18 months.

How long is the healing?

More than with other surgeries, healing time is a major consideration with UltraPulse® laser resurfacing. For up to 2 weeks, the treated skin may be red moist and oozing, and patients should plan to stay at home. After that period, make-up can be applied, which helps to cover the redness which lasts for several months.

What about the delicate areas of the skin?

The UltraPulse® laser can rejuvenate areas around the lips and around the eyes. Depending on the type and depth of the wrinkles or scars, more than one session may be necessary. Skin will look and feel revitalized and transformed, and the outward signs of age will be diminished.

Is UltraPulse® laser resurfacing for you?

A physician will take a medical history, age, skin type (including pigmentation), healing ability, and desired results into consideration to determine if someone is a good candidate. UltraPulse® laser resurfacing is usually reserved for patients with moderate to severe damage not amenable to treatment with less invasive procedures, such as chemical peels.

Should certain precautions be taken after an UltraPulse® laser resurfacing treatment?

After the procedure, it is essential to carefully follow the physician’s instructions to get optimal results. Skin preparation, antibiotics, and antivirals are prescribed prior to the procedure as well. After the UltraPulse® laser procedure, the physician will recommend an ointment to keep the healing areas moist, and a dressing may be applied. The initial redness and swelling that follows the UltraPulse® resurfacing treatment intensifies over the 4-5 days following the procedure. It fades in a few weeks to a light pink, which can easily be camouflaged with cosmetics and disappears completely within one to three months. It is important to use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 protection against UVA and UVB rays, and to avoid sun exposure for several months, as this can cause changes in pigmentation. Some patients may experience transient spots or increased pigmentation, which usually resolve spontaneously. In most patients, a regimen of glycolic acid peels and retinoids is also recommended to help maintain results.

BOTOX® as an Adjunct to UltraPulse® Laser Resurfacing

In some patients, dynamic lines such as the forehead and crow’s feet improve in a superior way and results last longer when BOTOX® is injected into the underlying muscles immediately prior to and after the UltraPulse® laser procedure.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal safely removes unwanted body hair for all skin types. Traditional hair removal techniques such as shaving, plucking, and waxing provide only temporary relief, and may actually stimulate hair growth. Electrolysis, while effective and ideal for white, grey, and blonde hairs, often requires years of ongoing and frequently painful treatments. All of these methods often result in scarring, allergic reactions, and ingrown hairs.

What does the treatment involve?

The patient is asked to wear eye protection consisting of an opaque covering or goggles. A small hand piece or “wand” is placed against the skin and the laser is activated. The laser is equipped with a spray cooling device delivered prior to the laser beam. The cooling spray decreases the pain and side effects of the laser. The hand piece is repositioned and the laser is activated again. The size or the area treated will determine the number of laser pulses required. It is very important that the hair is not waxed or plucked in the period immediately prior to laser hair removal.

What are the advantages over electrolysis?

With electrolysis, the operator inserts a needle into the hair shaft with the intention of reaching the follicle, then sends a small electrical charge designed to disable the follicle. The operator then removes that particular hair with tweezers. Hair removal is much faster with a laser as the laser is pulsed about once per second across the surface of the skin. Each “pulse” of laser light disables a large number of hair follicles. Electrolysis operators can only treat those hairs that they can see and the follicles they can reach through the hair shaft. A laser treats any “active” follicle, even if the hair has not yet reached the surface of the skin, or if the hair shaft is not straight. Please keep in mind that white, grey, and blonde hairs do not respond to any laser and are best treated with electrolysis. Laser hair removal is for all skin types.

How many sessions are needed?

The number of sessions will vary for each individual. This is dependent on the color, size, and location of the unwanted hair. During the initial visit, the laser light disables those follicles in the “active” phase of the growth cycle. Follicles in the “dormant” phase will not be permanently affected. Since follicles cycle through “active” and “dormant” phases, additional sessions may be desired once the “dormant” follicles become “active.” For this reason, multiple treatments will be necessary. Regrowing hairs are usually lighter and thinner. It is best to return as soon as new hair growth is apparent. Once the decreased density is achieved, maintenance treatments are recommended approximately once a year. The number and intervals of treatments varies from one patient to another.

Are dark skin types candidates for laser hair removal?

Yes. The current technology allows treatment of darker skin with unprecedented safety and efficacy. We were one of the first centers to offer hair removal for dark skin and now specialize in this treatment.

Laser for Tattoo Removal

What types of tattoos can be treated with a laser?

The most easily treated tattoos are blue-black tattoos, both amateur and professional. The effectiveness of the laser is dependent upon the location and depth of the tattoo, as well as the composition of the pigments. Tattoos with bright to tan colors are more difficult to remove.

What does the treatment involve?

Treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size, and type of tattoo, color of the patient’s skin and depth to which the tattoo pigment extends beneath the skin’s surface. All tattoos will require re-treatment at 4-8 week intervals. Laser treatments are less painful and require less recovery time than some other treatment methods. The degree of discomfort varies with each person, depending on his or her pain threshold. Most patients do not require anesthesia. In some cases, however, depending on the nature and location of the tattoo, the physician may elect to use topical local anesthesia.

Tattoos that have not been effectively removed by other treatments may respond well to laser therapy, providing prior treatment did not cause excessive scarring or skin damage. Patients will experience some temporary discoloration or reddening of the skin around the treatment site. Some patients may also experience a temporary lightening of the skin for a few months following treatment. The skin will typically resolve to normal pigmentation color. It is important to follow the recommendations of the treating physician for proper post-treatment skin care.

Laser Procedures - StarLux® Laser by Palomar

The StarLux® fractional laser is a versatile system that uses an intense pulsed light platform. It is a non-ablative laser treatment which allows for minimal recovery time as the light pulses and energy heat up the tissues under the top layer of skin. Read on for descriptions of the different StarLux® laser treatments.

Treatment for Stretch Marks

The dermis is the deepest and thickest layer of the skin and provides support, strength, and elasticity. If the dermis expands too much or too fast, it can break, split, or rupture. These breaks in the dermis cause stretch marks, also known as striae. The use of steroid medications can dissolve the collagen in the dermis and cause stretch marks without tension or pulling of the skin. The StarLux® fractional laser uses pulses of light to break down stretch marks and triggers production of new collagen. The new collagen can leave the stretch mark smoother in texture and less visible in appearance. Stretch mark treatment with the StarLux® laser is an option for all skin types.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good candidate for stretch mark treatment with the StarLux® laser?

Your provider will discuss with you whether you are a good candidate for StarLux® laser treatment during your consultation. Multiple StarLux® laser treatments at least 3-4 weeks apart may be needed for optimal results.

How quickly will I recover after stretch mark treatment with the StarLux® laser?

People typically resume their regular activities immediately after the treatment session. It is typical to experience a temporary redness and swelling of the stretch mark which may last a few days. Your provider will discuss other potential side effects with you during your consultation. New collagen production reaches its peak at 3 months. It will take about 6 months after your last StarLux® laser treatment to see a final result.

What will the StarLux® laser treatment feel like?

Most people feel minimal pain during the stretch mark treatment with the StarLux® laser. You can discuss pain management options with your provider during your consultation.

For Permanent Hair Reduction

Our state-of-the art StarLux® laser system uses a simple FDA approved approach for permanent hair reduction. The StarLux® works by targeting the pigment inside the unwanted hair follicle. The provider will move the "self-cooling" hand-piece over the patients skin while pulses of intense light focus on the unwanted hair follicles, heating the pigment deep inside the hair and disabling the cell mechanism responsible for growing new hair. The StarLux® pulsed light technology is like a laser, but with a larger, smooth beam, and a long pulse for safe, fast, and comfortable treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What body parts are typically treated with the StarLux® hair reduction system?

The StarLux® uses a unique long pulse-width that delivers energy to the skin to create permanent hair reduction for men and women on the face (except around eyes), back, chest, shoulders, arms, underarms, bikini lines, legs, abdomen, hands, and feet.

Am I a good candidate for StarLux® laser hair reduction?

The StarLux® targets only hair follicle pigments so it is safe and effective for almost any skin type and hair color. Your provider will determine if you are a good candidate for StarLux® laser hair removal during your consultation. It is necessary to evaluate the body part being treated for a variety of factors.

How many treatments will I need with the StarLux® laser for permanent hair reduction?

Permanent hair reduction technology can only affect hair in active phases of growth so several short treatment sessions, spaced at 4 to 6 week intervals, result in the best aesthetic outcome. You do not need to let hair grow out between treatment sessions.

What will the StarLux® laser treatment feel like?

A flashing light, an audible tone, and a mild sensation similar to a rubber band being snapped on the skin will make you aware of an active treatment. Most people report any sensations they feel during treatment are not painful.

How quickly will I recover after hair removal treatment with the StarLux® laser?

You can resume regular daily activities immediately following treatment. Typically, most people experience a mild, sunburn-like sensation, possibly accompanied by some minor swelling, immediately after the treatment. This usually lasts two to 24 hours. Your provider will discuss other possible side effects with you during your consultation.

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For Acne and Other Scars

Scars are caused by damage to the dermis, the deep layer of the skin below the surface. A scratch, cut, surgical incision, acne pustules, deep burns, or any trauma that goes deep into the skin will injure the dermis. If the dermis cannot regenerate itself enough to replace all of the damaged tissue, a depression exists in the skin which appears as a visible scar. During treatment with the StarLux® Laser, pulses of fractional laser light break down scar tissue, triggering new tissue to form in its place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good candidate for StarLux® laser treatment on my acne or other scars?

The StarLux® laser treatment works on all skin types. Your provider will determine if you are a good candidate for treating your scars with the StarLux® laser during your consultation. It is necessary to evaluate the body part being treated for a variety of factors.

How quickly will I recover after hair removal treatment with the StarLux® laser?

You can resume regular daily activities immediately following treatment with the StarLux® laser. Typically, most people experience a mild, sunburn-like sensation, possibly accompanied by some minor swelling, immediately after the laser treatment. This usually lasts two to 24 hours. Your provider will discuss other possible side effects with you during your consultation.

What will the StarLux® laser treatment feel like?

Most people feel minimal pain during the stretch mark treatment with the StarLux® laser. You can discuss pain management options with your provider during your consultation.

Photodynamic-Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT), also called photoradiation therapy, phototherapy, and photochemotherapy, has existed for about 100 years and is a type of cancer treatment that uses light to kill abnormal cells. A special drug called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent is circulated through the bloodstream.

 

The cosmetic indication of photodynamic therapy, or any other indication including treatment of skin cancer, is considered an ‘off-label use’ of this technique.

When Should Someone NOT Use This Treatment?

People should not receive this medicine if they have had an allergic reaction to aminolevulinic acid or porphyrins, if they have porphyria, lupus or skin that is unusually sensitive to sun, if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take deferoxamine (an iron chelator), hydrochlorothiazide or sulfa products.

Procedure Description

A nurse or other caregiver will apply the medicine. After 1 hour, the patient will be treated with a special blue light for approximately 17 minutes. Facial nerve blocks may be given to minimize the pain of the procedure. Alternatively, an anesthetic topical cream will be applied prior to the light exposure. During the blue light treatment, patients will receive special goggles to protect their eyes. During the blue light treatment, a stinging might be felt, along with tingling, prickling, or burning of the lesions, but this should go away after the treatment. After treatment, patients should stay out of the sun or bright light as much as possible and wear sunglasses and protective clothing when going outside.

Side Effects

The skin will turn red and swollen in the following 3-7 days. Some crusting may be noted. There should be some discomfort, but no significant pain. After 1 week, there might be some residual redness that will subside after a few days and can be covered with makeup.

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Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy

Used to treat spider and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy uses an injection of a special chemical (sclerosant) into a vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein. This causes the vein to close. During this procedure, the affected leg is elevated to drain blood, and the sclerosant is injected into the vein.

 

Does sclerotherapy work for everyone?

The majority of sclerotherapy treatments performed result in significant improvement. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the treatment will be effective in every case. A small percentage of patients who undergo sclerotherapy may have poor to fair results.

What results will you see and how soon?

The result can be immediate however it usually takes several weeks of healing to be achieved. Each vein usually requires one to three treatments. The veins disappear over a period of two weeks to three months. Recurrence may occur over a period of one to five years. This treatment does not prevent new telangiectasia from developing.

How many treatments are needed?

While in many cases the treated vein resolves in one treatment, the number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition differs from patient to patient. Depending on the extent of the spider vein present, multiple sessions may be required.

Are there certain kinds of spider veins that can’t be treated?

Certain types of large varicose veins may not respond readily to sclerotherapy alone. These vessels may require a minor surgical procedure followed later with sclerotherapy. You may be referred to a vascular surgeon for complete or partial treatment of these specific types of large varicose veins.

Are there other types of procedures to treat spider veins?

Yes, depending on the size of the vessel, vascular laser treatment may be an option. A physician will be able to determine the best course of treatment.

What precautions should be taken before and after treatment?

It is recommended to stop aspirin or aspirin-like products one week prior to your treatment, unless prescribed by your physician. After treatment, move your legs regularly and walk as much as possible. If you must drive, stop every hour and walk around. If your legs become painful, walk. Avoid vigorous exercise like aerobics for at least 5-7 days after treatment. Pressure bandages/compression stockings may be required to be worn post-operation.

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