Cutting-Edge Care: AccuVein
By: Rhonda Klein, MD, MPH, FAAD
Most of our patients have no downtime and no bruising following their injectable cosmetic treatments like Botox and Filler, however, when bruising does occur it can be a real bummer. Of course, we do everything we can to avoid bruising a patient, but the reality is it happens to the best of us because at the end of the day, the face is one of the most vascular areas of our bodies. Enter AccuVein, a new, cutting-edge technology that allows us to see below the complex network of tiny veins and blood vessels beneath the skin, so we can avoid them. Modern Dermatology is pleased to offer this groundbreaking technology to our patients, and to further explain how it works, we asked Dr. Klein to answer some common questions.
What is AccuVein?
AccuVein is the world’s first handheld, non-contact vein illumination solution. We can use it before and during cosmetic procedures to navigate the underlying vasculature of our patients’ faces.
How does it work?
Hemoglobin – the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body - absorbs infrared light, so when the device is held above the skin, the veins carrying hemoglobin differentiate in appearance from the surrounding tissue. This helps us to avoid the veins when we penetrate the skin.
So, you can promise me I won’t get a bruise?
Unfortunately, no. The reality is anytime we are puncturing the skin with a needle that is a risk, however AccuVein does allow us more precision, which shortens healing time, decreases post-procedure bruising and improves overall patient outcomes.
Is it just about bruising, or safety too?
It’s definitely both! Let’s use Botox as an example[BD1] . Botox works by blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles, which makes the injected muscle unable to contract and therefore wrinkle. If Botox migrates to other facial muscles, it could result in a drooping eyelid or temporary problem making facial expressions. AccuVein helps us avoid this (very rare) complication by highlighting veins that may transmit the neurotoxins to those unintended areas of your face.
What else can be done to minimize the risk for bruising?
We like to use microcannulas for placing most injectable fillers, especially in extra sensitive areas of the face like the lips. This technique allows for a single “poke” instead of multiple needles being inserted. The end of the cannula that we insert into the skin has a smooth, round tip which pushes veins out of the way. We then inject the filler through the end of the cannula that is outside of the skin. Combined, the cannula and AccuVein provide the best opportunity for a “no bruise” injection procedure that exists!
The moral of the story is…
When done by an experienced board-certified dermatologist, injectable treatments (like Botox and Fillers) are safe and have little to no downtime. AccuVein is an example of the cutting-edge technology we are always evaluating for our practice and our patients. We’re proud to be able to offer our patients the very best care!