Venous lake on your lip?
Do you have a blue bump on your lip? Has it grown slightly over the years? Does it look something like the photo below? There is a very good chance you have a venous lake and we provide the venous lake treatment you are looking for. While these may be called a number of other things, venous lake is the most accurate diagnosis. Similar lesions are called varix, hemangioma, phlebectases and images can be found here.
How do we treat a venous lake?
Our office currently uses both hard and soft tissue lasers for an array of health related issues. We use our lasers for exposing unerupted teeth when doing orthodontics, for removal of chronically inflamed and overgrown gingival tissue, and for removal of hematomas (venous lake). Our hard tissue laser is utilized to placed fillings without needing to get numb or use a dental drill. Our soft and hard tissue lasers are occasionally used when making a dental crown or when when dealing with dental implants.
The most sought after treatment in our practice when it comes to laser treatments is the removal of a venous lake, which looks like a blue spot on your lip. Utilizing the laser to remove a venous lake is quite simple. This procedure is nearly pain free and only takes about 10 minutes. To see more before and after venous lake photos click here.
Venous lake healing at 2 weeks
So we’ll use a frikin LASER!!! – Austin Powers
We are seeing about 3 people a month for laser treatments of venous lakes. Nearly every patient has found me online and nearly every patient has spoken to dermatologist and many have already tried several different treatments. For instance, this yelp reviewer had seen several dermatologists already as well. Many speak of treatment options including tying off microscopic blood vessels (run don’t walk away from a doc still using that outdated treatment method!). Some have already tried a laser treatment.
The problem is that the right laser must be used! I have seen several patients that have had failed treatments from their dermatologist using CO2 lasers. Those are soft tissue lasers that dermatologists use all the time because they target water and thus destroy all tissue non-selectively. When treating a venous lake, we want to target blood and not tissue. Fortunately, the laser we use targets blood. Blood is a common occurrence in the mouth (don’t floss for a week and then floss hard and find out for yourself). Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the dental field relies on lasers that are specific to blood. The discovery that our blood lasers would work great on blood lesions wasn’t a monumental discovery, just someone putting 2 and 2 together.
Want to see more before and after venous lake treatments?
To see our venous lake blog click here. You will see that most lesions look very similar. Size and location are the main differences. The color of the lesion changes slightly depending on the depth the lesion extends under the skin. Our venous lake treatment leads to consistent results.
Live far away from Wheaton, Il?
Most of our venous lake laser treatment patients travel to see us. All we need is a photo ahead of time to help confirm you in fact have a venous lake. We are always capable of treating a venous lake the day of the consult (very convenient for those traveling).
For those traveling we simply ask for a photo follow up; you’ll notice that many of our before and after photos are simply “selfie” cell phone pics. If you live really far away and traveling is out of the question it is likely you will need to find a local dentist with a laser that knows how to treat this issue. Very few dentists have the correct laser and even fewer know of how to do this procedure. If you can get here, it’s better you come here. We are close to Chicago and it’s an amazing city, but try to come when it’s warm 😉
Cost of venous lake treatment
We charge and collect up front $750 (2017) for this treatment and do submit it to dental insurance, but routinely get denied. If we do get payment, we mail you a refund for that amount. If you have a HSA or FSA account, we recommend using that. We currently do not submit to medical insurance for this, but we give you the paperwork to submit yourself. However, don’t get your hopes up. It’s hard enough to even figure out how to submit, let alone get payment for something like this. The diagnostic portion of medical ICD-9 code for this procedure is Venous lake (456.8). Since this is considered cosmetic, you will have to have a very generous health insurance plan for it to be covered.
Healing time for venous lake lip treatment
Having done as many venous lake treatments as we have, we have learned a few modifications in the procedure that are resulting in even faster healing times. It often takes 3-4 weeks to see total resolution of the area but occasionally we see healing as little as two weeks. If the venous lake is deep into your lip (usually can’t tell until we work on it), a small white fibrous area forms under the skin and takes several more weeks to a couple months to disappear. You will be able to find it if you look very closely but the white area will not be detectable to others. No scar, no obvious evidence of anything having ever been there is the norm!
What does a venous lake laser treatment look like during the healing period?
The laser is cauterizing blood and tissue so it looks and heals similar to a burn at first and then a scab. The larger the area that needs treatment the worse it will look during the healing phase. It can be swollen and be red, black, white, grey, and/or red. This patient sent a healing photo just short of two weeks of his two venous lake lesions. The worst of his healing was over by then.
Before you come
Call our office and you will likely be instructed to send us a photo. 2 or 3 photos are better than one. The front office will give you the email of where to send it. That is often all we need for diagnosis. Dr. Bauer will follow up with you if he has any additional questions. Once we confirm you have a venous lake we can get you scheduled. Please do not pick at it or pop it right before you come. It makes it harder for us to treat it effectively. We want to see it at it’s worse! The energy of our laser targets the blood so if you pop it, the venous lake will be harder to treat.