Capitol Vein Blog

Monday, December 20, 2010

Varicose Veins and Pregnancy, Part 1

A common misconception about varicose veins and pregnancy is that treatment cannot be performed until completion of all pregnancies.  With the new diagnostic abilities, such as advanced ultrasound and the minimally invasive treatments with VNUS Closure, there is no need to allow these painful varicose veins to persist.

Varicose veins predictably enlarge as time passes and the elevated pressure in these veins leads to pressure, aching and swelling and increases the risk of phlebitis (blood clot).

While we don’t intervene during a pregnancy, we strongly recommend that varicose veins be evaluated after delivery so that appropriate treatment can be given, minimizing the risk of more serious problems.


Dr. Rosenberg said...

Of course, many women have painful veins during the last few months of pregnancy. The best way to minimize the aching and swelling is to wear well fitted medical compression stockings. Most of these are rated in strength by grade or millimeters of mercury compression strength (mmHg).

We suggest at least knee high 20-30mmHg (or Class2) hose. Many women actually prefer the waist high (maternity) hose that provide benefit all the way up the leg instead of just from the knee to the ankle.

Leg elevation is optimal when you are resting, as this will encourage blood flow up the leg in the proper direction.

Once you deliver your baby, the stress in the venous system is reduced, and the symptoms ease. However, the underlying tendency to develop more varicose veins remains, and we advise an ultrasound evaluation of the leg veins several months post partum.

If left untreated, venous reflux often is much worse during successive pregnancies, so intervention is beneficial.

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