Capitol Vein Blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Leesburg, Virginia Woman with Severe Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

A Leesburg, Virginia patient visited us this week with extreme pain in her lower left inner ankle.  The pain was associated with varicose veins that had been troubling her for several years. In addition, she had a bulging lump near her ankle, with darkening of the skin and mild infection at the site.

Her case was particularly complicated: she was six months pregnant with her fifth child. She had experienced symptoms like aching and heaviness in her legs during prior pregnancies, and unfortunately had been told to wait and seek treatment after she was done bearing children.

In reality, women of childbearing age should have their varicose veins evaluated and treated between pregnancies, so that the progressive symptoms can be eliminated. Varicose veins tend to become even more symptomatic during pregnancy because of the changes in hormones that cause the veins to swell. Successive pregnancies tend to exacerbate the leg pain.

During pregnancy, varicose vein treatment options are extremely limited. Support hose can be beneficial in many cases, though they do not cure the underlying cause of varicose veins. Once patients deliver, we can proceed with a more comprehensive diagnostic work-up, including duplex ultrasound. This test maps the flow in the veins and illustrates where the vein valves are not working well. Eventually we can treat the poorly functioning veins with the Venefit Procedure (VNUS Closure) so that normal circulation is restored and veins can resolve.

While leg pain related to varicose veins cannot be completely addressed during pregnancy, patients should seek evaluation as soon as possible after they deliver - and most certainly before the next pregnancy, to avoid medical complications. Dr. Rosenberg or Dr. McNeill, both diplomates of the American College of Phlebology, can provide a full evaluation of vein conditions at any of the Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia vein centers.

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