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Should I Get Rid of Varicose Veins While Pregnant?

Should I Get Rid of Varicose Veins While Pregnant?

This is a question that we frequently hear from women who develop varicose veins while pregnant. Many women first notice varicose veins during pregnancy, and varicose veins may come about during pregnancy, even if you’ve never had them before. The bulging blue or purple veins may be unsightly as well as uncomfortable, but they may also be temporary. You may not need to get rid of varicose veins in this case. It’s quite common for varicose veins (those that appear for the first time during pregnancy) to disappear about three months after you give birth.

If you are genetically predisposed to varicose veins or have had them before becoming pregnant, however, chances are greater that they will remain after you have your baby. Nevertheless, you may want to wait until a few months after having your baby before getting vein treatment that you might not need. At that point, your vascular surgeon will be able to offer you options to get rid of the bulging varicose veins, such as the Venefit Procedure also known as VNUS Closure.

What Causes Varicose Veins to Appear During Pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, you produce extra blood to support the growth of your developing child. This additional blood volume places a burden on leg veins in the legs. After all, the blood in your leg veins already, under normal conditions, has an uphill battle against gravity to make its way back to your heart and lungs during circulation. Now that your anatomy is changing, pressure from your expanding uterus makes it more challenging for blood to move back up the legs. The valves within your veins should keep blood moving in the right direction, but some of the extra blood can pool in the lower leg veins while you’re pregnant. Another factor is progesterone, which relaxes blood vessels. Your body produces more of this hormone while you are pregnant. These are the reasons that varicose veins are more likely to show up in pregnancy.

What Symptoms do Varicose Veins Cause for Pregnant Women?

During your pregnancy, you may notice leg swelling around the ankles, whether or not visible varicose veins show up. Achy or itching legs are also common. Because there may be a tendency for blood clots with varicose veins during pregnancy, keep your obstetrician updated.

Can Varicose Veins During Pregnancy be Prevented?

If you have a genetic tendency, there may be no way to avoid varicose veins during your pregnancy. This expert prevention advice should help:

  • Elevate your legs whenever possible, especially when you’ve been on your feet, walking or standing, for a while.
  • When you must stand for an extended period, shift your weight from leg to leg every few minutes, rest one foot on a low stool and/or flex and roll your ankles every few minutes.
  • Take a short walk a few times per day.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothessuch as a tight belt or tight elastic topped socks.
  • Wear comfortable supportive, flat or low-heel shoes.
  • Don’t cross your legs when seated.
  • Don’t lift heavy objects while you’re pregnant and do not strain to move your bowels, which can create varicose veins.
  • The exception to tight clothing is to wear support hose or compression stockings. You should ideally put the stockings on prior to getting up each morning. They will provide some support for your leg veins and help them maintain your circulation.
  • Try sleeping on your left side. This lessens the weight pressing on the major abdominal vein, and improves circulation.
  • Eat a balanced diet to keep your vascular and circulatory systems healthy.

If varicose veins don’t vanish after giving birth, see the vascular surgeons at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center in Gig Harbor to learn about all your options to eliminate varicose veins.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy: Post Op Patient Information

If you recently had state-of-the art microphlebectomy at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center in Gig Harbor, WA for the removal or treatment of incompetent veins, it is important to know and follow post-operative guidelines. Following instructions for post-op ambulatory phlebectomy care will help to promote your quick recovery and effective healing. Most importantly, it will help you get back to enjoying your daily activities in comfort.

Immediately After Your Ambulatory Phlebectomy Procedure

Immediately following the procedure at our Vein Center, your leg will be cleaned and a dressing will be applied. Unless otherwise instructed, you should leave this dressing on for 24 hours after the procedure. Once the full 24 hours is up, you may remove the dressing, and wear a compression stocking. For this procedure, we like our patients to wear a compression stocking for two weeks following treatment.

While strenuous activity can be resumed within five to seven days, you can participate in light activities right away following the procedure.

First 48 Hours

You’ll likely see that fluid has drained from the treated leg for about the first 48 hours. You’ll notice this because your compression stocking or dressing may be slightly damp. You’ll also see some swelling and bruising, which is normal. Though it varies from patient to patient, you may experience post-procedure discomfort, which typically ranges from mild to moderate.

To ease post-operative procedure pain, elevate your legs. Taking ibuprofen can also help

For the First Two Weeks

Beginning the day of (or following day of the procedure at the latest), you should plan to walk for 30 minutes each day for the first two weeks after your treatment. You do not have to walk the full 30 minutes in one session; rather, you can break up the 30 minutes into shorter increments, as long as you get the full 30 minutes over the course of each day.

Restrictions Following the Procedure

It is important that you refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous aerobic physical activity, especially when standing, for the first five days following your vein treatment. You should also avoid soaking the leg underwater in a bath or hot tub.

Knowing what to expect immediately following your procedure, including restrictions and recommendations provided by vascular surgeons, helps your recovery go more smoothly and your vein healing more effective.

If you have any questions about your post-operative instructions, be sure to call us at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center at 253-444-9133.

Vascular Surgeons Discuss Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a treatment for varicose veins, spider veins and some other blood vessel problems. In fact, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery calls sclerotherapy the “treatment of choice for spider leg veins” but the procedure works well on small varicose veins too.

Spider veins and varicose veins occur when disease causes veins to function poorly at their job of carrying blood from your extremities back to your heart. Gravity causes blood to pool in these diseased veins, especially in the veins in your lower calves and ankles. In time, this pooled blood causes the veins to bloat and swell. Bloated veins lying near the surface appear as tiny red, purple or blue spider veins. Bloating in deeper veins causes dark purple or blue, twisted and bulging varicose veins.  

Sclerotherapy reduces the appearance of bulging veins but the treatment can also improve symptoms related to spider veins and small varicose veins, such as aching, burning, swelling, and night cramps.

Sclerotherapy involves the use of a chemical agent that causes scarring and the eventual collapse of the diseased vein. Nearby tissue absorbs the collapsed vein material and the body reroutes blood flow to other healthier veins.

Gig Harbor Vascular Surgeons Detail the Sclerotherapy Procedure

Vein doctors usually perform sclerotherapy in a vein clinic. Vascular surgeons can usually perform the procedure, which does not require anesthesia, in 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of veins treated and the extent of vein disease.

During the procedure, the vascular surgeon will then use a needle to inject a chemical, known as a sclerosant, into the diseased vein. Some patients experience minor cramps or stinging sensation when the doctor inserts the needle used in this procedure.

The sclerosants, which can be liquid or foam, irritate the lining of the veins. This irritation causes the vein to swell shut and block the flow of blood. The vein eventually dissolves.

After removing the needle from each section of diseased vein, the doctor applies compression and massage techniques that prevent blood from entering the treated vein and rinsing away the sclerosant. During treatment involving several injections, the surgeon may tape a compression pad onto larger veins while the doctor treats the next vein. The number of injections varies, depending on the size and number of veins treated at each session.

After treatment, veins typically fade within a few weeks, optimal results are visible after months in some cases. Some patients require repeat treatments for best results, especially for larger varicose veins or extensive spider veins.

Sclerotherapy is a relative safe procedure associated with relatively few complications. Side effects at the injection sites may include bruising, raised red areas, small skin sores, and darkened skin in the shape of lines or dots. Most of these fade quickly to reveal smooth, beautiful skin.

If you suffer from spider veins or small varicose veins and wonder if sclerotherapy is right for you, make an appointment with Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center. Our vein doctors are here to serve you.

Have Varicose Veins? Venefit is a Quick, Effective Treatment


If you suffer from varicose veins, you may be tempted to ignore them. With the  Venefit procedure available at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center, there’s no need to put up with varicose veins any longer. Are you putting off vein treatment for one of the following mistaken reasons?

  1. Varicose veins are such a common health problem that many people see them as “normal” or “only cosmetic” and therefore minor. In fact, varicose veins, if left untreated can lead to CVI (chronic venous insufficiency), which can bring permanent skin changes and non-healing sores on the lower legs. The stakes for going without treatment can be very high, so you should seek treatment sooner rather than later
  2. Some people choose to ignore problem veins because they haven’t had any symptoms yet, other than visually noticing bulging or discolored varicose veins. Just because you haven’t yet had aching, painful legs or experienced swollen ankles does not mean that varicose veins are harmless. As mentioned above, they can develop into more serious circulatory problems if left untreated.
  3. Another reason that people may fail to seek treatment for vein problems is fear of painful treatments or surgery. If you are concerned about this, you will be happy to hear that the days of vein stripping surgery are all but gone. These days there are a variety of simple, minimally invasive, in-office medical treatments for varicose veins, including the Venefit procedure formerly known as VNUS Closure. Venefit requires only local anesthesia, which eliminates much of the risk, because many of the risks of any surgery are due to general anesthesia.
  4. Maybe you have just been too busy to seek treatment for vein disease. That’s not a good excuse either, because Venefit treatment takes less than one hour and requires little to no down time for recovery. With Venefit, you may not even have any bruising after the procedure. You will have no trouble walking out of the vein center after your Venefit treatment or one of the other minimally invasive treatment options offered by today’s vascular surgeons.
  5. You may be hesitating to get varicose vein treatment because you’re concerned about the cost. The fact is, it’s likely that your vein problems may be more than just cosmetic—and most insurance companies will provide some coverage if that is the case. (It is spider vein treatments that insurance companies often refuse to cover, because they may be merely cosmetic. It is possible for spider veins to cause symptoms, however. It is wise to get a check up at your local vein center if you suspect any type of vein disease.)

Don’t let these mistaken ideas about varicose vein treatment keep you from getting proper treatment from your local vein doctors. Learn more about the Venefit radio frequency (RF) procedure and your other options to destroy varicose veins. Contact   Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center in Gig Harbor today!