Science & Technology

Cooltouch CTEV LaserThe Altus Coolglide Excel Laser

The Cooltouch laser is used to treat large varicose veins. A laser fibre is inserted into the vein through a needle and heat is applied to kill the vein.

The wavelength of light that is used is unique to the Cooltouch. It fires infrared light at 1320nm. This wavelength is absorbed by water, causing it to heat up. Prior to its introduction, lasers almost all used infrared light at 810nm (there were some using 940nm). These wavelengths of light are absorbed by hemoglobin.

It would seem that there should be no difference between these devices in terms of the effect of treatments since both of them are causing a thermal injury to the vein. But nothing could be further from the truth. While both lasers are very effective at destroying varicose veins, the difference in comfort for the patients is staggering. Lasers that use 810nm and 940nm cause significant pain and bruising for a large percentage of patients. These patients often required narcotic pain meds like codeine. But the Cooltouch, with its 1320nm laser light causes only mild discomfort and virtually no bruising. No one needs narcotics and most patients don't even take simple analgesics like Tylenol or Advil.

In the photo the thin strand coming from the front of the laser is the optical fiber that is inserted into the vein to transmit the laser light. It passes through a little blue box on the tray in the foreground. This blue box is an automated motor that pulls the laser fiber slowly out of the vein as laser energy is applied.


Luxar 20i CO2 Laser

Carbon dioxide lasers are incredibly accurate. They produce a tiny powerful beam that vaporizes skin one very thin layer at a time. At its lowest setting the laser removes only 10 microns of tissue (about one cell layer). At its highest setting, it removes about one quarter of a millimeter of tissue.

This precision makes the CO2 laser a great device for mole removal. Only the mole is injured. There is minimal damage to nearby normal skin. This minimizes the risk of leaving a scar.*

Soprano Laser

This is the world's first truly painless hair removal laser. While other lasers use single intense shots of energy to accomplish hair removal, the Soprano uses 10 low intensity pulses per second that cannot be felt.

It is equally effective as standard lasers for hair removal.*

It is made in Israel by Alma Lasers, one of the most innovative laser companies in the world.



UltraShape Contour v3 Body Contouring Machine


The UltraShape uses painless harmless ultrasound to kill fat cells.

It employs a dome-shaped transducer that sends ultrasound waves from all directions into a single point about 1.5cm below the skin surface as shown in the diagram to the left.  UltraShape UltrasoundThe intense vibrations shake fat cells so hard that they are shattered. Since your body stopped making new fat cells at puberty, these cells will not be replaced. The frequency of ultrasound that is used does not affect other tissue such as blood vessels, muscles, and nerves.


Accent XL Radio Frequency Generator

The Accent produces radio waves that are used for skin tightening, body contouring, and cellulite treatment.

It is made in Israel by Alma Lasers, one of the most innovative laser companies in the world.

There are two hand-pieces to deliver different types of radiowaves. The bipolar hand-piece delivers shallow waves about 10mm deep to tighten skin. The monopolar hand-piece is patented technology that delivers radiowaves 25mm deep to affect fat cells. 



Pellevé Radio Frequency GeneratorPellevé Radio Frequency Generator

The Pellevé produces an intense field of radio waves that heats deep layers of the skin more than the surface. This stimulates new collagen production and tightens skin.* It operates in a similar manner to the Accent. Its advantage is that it has a very small wand that easily accesses tight spots such as under the eye where the Accent is too bulky to reach.



Xeo (Coolglide) Laser

At the York Vein and Laser Clinic we use the Xeo laser for hair removal and facial vein treatments.

Lasers produce light that has unique properties. The light has only one wavelength (colour) and the light travels in beams that are parallel. The end result is that a laser beam stays the same width at the source as at the target, and loses very little energy. A laser beam one centimeter in diameter fired at the moon would only spread to one meter in diameter at the moon’s surface. Compare this to a flashlight. The beam would be a meter wide after traveling only ten meters.

Laser light of different wavelengths is used for different tasks. Hair removal is done with 755nm, 810nm and 1064nm lasers. Skin resurfacing uses laser light at 2940nm and 10,000nm. Vascular lasers use light at 532nm and 1064nm.

The Xeo was chosen for its efficacy and its unequalled safety profile as explained below.

The target for laser light energy is the pigment called melanin. This pigment is found in hair and throughout the skin. The darker your skin, the more melanin it contains. The object of laser hair removal is to have more absorption of laser light energy by the melanin in the hair root than by melanin in the skin, thereby destroying the hair follicle but preserving the skin.

The Xeo laser has the longest wavelength available for hair removal. The longer wavelength of the Xeo laser results in deeper penetration of light into the skin where the hair root resides. Less light energy is absorbed in the skin. The result is hair root damage without skin damage. It is the safest wavelength available for hair removal.

All other wavelengths of light are scattered and absorbed in the very superficial layers of the skin where they may cause undesirable skin side effects such as burning and pigment changes. These shorter wavelengths are unsuitable for treating dark skin.

The longer wavelength of the Xeo is safe for use on all skin colors, including tanned skin. We have never seen pigment changes using the Xeo laser.

This laser is also an excellent device for the treatment of facial veins.* We rarely use it for leg veins, because sclerotherapy works better, hurts less, and costs less.

Harmony AFT Intense Pulsed Light Device (IPL)

At the York Vein and Laser Clinic we use the Harmony AFT Intense Pulsed Light Device manufactured by Alma Lasers. This multi-purpose device is used for some hair removal, facial vein treatments, photorejuvenation, and photodynamic therapy. Our Harmony has three different handpieces for these different functions (420nm for acne and photodynamic therapy, 540nm for facial veins and photorejuvenation, and 650nm for hair removal).

IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light. As the name implies, IPL machines produce intense pulses of light from flashlamps. This light initially contains all colours of light in the visible spectrum plus infrared and ultraviolet. Because ultraviolet light is harmful, all IPL machines use some type of mechanism, usually filters, to block out UV.

We chose the Harmony because of the innovative technology it uses to deal with ultraviolet light (AFT).

As mentioned above, all IPL machines use some type of device to prevent harmful ultraviolet light from reaching the skin. Most machines use filters to simply block out the UV rays. In contrast, the Harmony IPL converts the UV light to useful wavelengths. This method is called Advanced Flourescent Technology (AFT). Most of the energy boost occurs at the wavelength that the IPL machine uses for doing its job. Because more light is available at the desired wavelength, the overall energy delivered can be reduced, and consequently, the machine is safer. This safety factor is the primary reason we decided to purchase the Harmony to treat our patients.

We are also very impressed with how well this device works. While most IPL devices need to be used three to eight times to achieve the desired results, we usually only need one or two treatments to achieve beneficial results.* Occasionally three treatments are required.*

Zimmer Elektromedizin Cryo-5 Cooler

This device is a technologically advanced air conditioner that blows super cooled air. The Zimmer has one very important function: to cool the skin during laser and IPL treatments. This cooling protects the skin and decreases discomfort.





Biosound Esaote MyLab 5 Ultrasound

Biosound Esaote MyLab 5 Ultrasound

The MyLab 5 is a colour Doppler ultrasound system that allows us to diagnose and treat varicose veins more effectively. Our use of ultrasound during most visits sets York Vein and Laser Clinic apart from most vein clinics.

It has several purposes:

1) We use it to make an accurate diagnose by visualizing veins beneath the skin. Using ultrasound, we track a varicose vein back to its source. After all, if the source is not treated, the problem is not treated. Most vein clinics do not have this capability.

2) It allows us to guide a needles into a veins that can not be seen or felt.

3) It allows us to track the foam we inject to ensure it goes where we want it to.

4) We use it to track the progress of our treatment. We can see the results of the previous treatment and see what needs to be treated next.

5) We can find complications of treament.


Elite Pocket DopplerElite Pocket Doppler

This hand held device is used to listen to blood flow in veins. Most commonly we use it to listen for veins at your initial consultation, especially when it looks like there are no varicose veins. They could be too deep to see or feel. The doppler will find them, then we can conduct a more thorough examination with ultrasound. 






The VeinLite is a high-powered fiber optic halogen light source that allows us to see veins through the skin. It is used during treatment to locate veins that we want to inject but cannot see or feel.

VeinLite pictures








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