Capitol Vein Blog

Monday, June 10, 2013

Treat Varicose Veins Between Pregnancies

It's interesting that so many women are unaware that varicose veins get worse with pregnancy.  The hormones of pregnancy - estrogen and progesterone - become elevated as the term progresses, and they both cause vein relaxation and weakness to accommodate the increased blood volume seen during pregnancy. Both hormones are also vascular muscle relaxers, allowing the veins to enlarge.  

A patient, now in her third trimester, was recently referred to me from her Gainesville, Virginia obstetrician. She has seen worsening varicose veins with aching and heaviness in her left leg, and this same scenario developed during her prior pregnancy. She had been misinformed about treating her veins during the interval between pregnancies, and now regrets that choice.  Like many women, this patient did not know that treatment of the venous reflux is optimally done between pregnancies, as opposed to waiting until a woman is done having children.

For this Gainesville patient, there is nothing we can offer during her pregnancy, aside from medical grade support hose, which will ease the symptoms to a degree. Of course, in the summer heat, support hose are less than desirable. Once she delivers, we can evaluate her leg with a duplex ultrasound scan and develop an individualized treatment plan that will cure her venous disease.

The Venefit Procedure (VNUS Closure) is the optimal method to treat saphenous vein reflux, the usual cause of leg veins. This office procedure is safely done in the office under local anesthesia with excellent outcomes. There is no reason this procedure should wait until a woman in through child bearing.

A full evaluation with your vein specialist will provide the best information and allow you to make your most informed choices. A member of the American College of Phlebology or the American Venous Forum is uniquely qualified in this respect.


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