Why does this happen in pregnancy?
Hormonal changes in pregnancy designed to make your pelvic ligaments more flexible during delivery, coupled with an increase in blood volume, cause stretching and damage to the valves in your leg veins. As a result, blood pools in your legs and does not flow properly back to your heart. This may cause swelling, leg pain and even blood clots in some.
Symptoms are worse in persons who:
- Have a history of varicose veins and venous disease in their family
- Have a venous condition that was present before pregnancy
- Stand or sit for prolonged periods of time while pregnant
- Do not exercise regularly
- Have had more than one pregnancy
What treatments are possible?
Since these persistent varicose veins are not working properly, and often can or will cause pain, it is best to eliminate them. You have many other vein channels for blood to return to your heart, so these problem veins will not be missed. Your legs often feel better, and will be healthier in your future.
Treatments are performed as an outpatient at the Laser Vein Center and are designed not to interrupt the busy flow of your life. Most persons can go back to work the same day or the next day.
Always try prescription strength compression stockings first (minimum of 20-30 mm Hg), then options may include:
- Endothermal ablation with laser or radio frequency devices
- Ambulatory phlebectomy
- Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
- Superficial sclerotherapy
What is the recovery time after treatment?
- Treatments are simple, short, and easy
- Most persons are at the clinic for 1-2 hours, and can drive themselves home
- Many persons go back to work the same day, or the certainly by the next day
- 90% of patients require only a few days of ibuprofen or tylenol following treatment
- 5% of patients have no discomfort
- 5% of patients have some phlebitis (vein inflammation) which gives a little more discomfort for a few days
- Patients walk for an hour each day starting immediately after treatment
- Patients are back to light activity within 1 week and full activity within 2 weeks
Why the Laser Vein Center?
- Personalized treatment plan designed with Dr. Ives or Dr. Sandoval
- Detailed follow up after treatments
- State of the art facility and equipment in a relaxing, outpatient atmosphere
- Dedicated and highly trained staff
What can I do to minimize risks?
- Elevate legs often
- Change positions frequently
- Walk daily
- Sit in the aisle on plane flight, and get up hourly to move about
- Wear properly fitted, prescription grade, graduated compression stockings
If symptoms or visible varicosities persist more than 6 weeks after delivery, get evaluated at the LVC. This evaluation will include a personal meeting with Dr. Ives or Dr. Sandoval, and a lower extremity ultrasound of the leg veins to clarify exactly the problem. Treatment, if needed, is simple, easy, and will prepare you for your next pregnancy, or for later life without leg pain and ongoing complications.