What to Expect: Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

ORIGINAL LINK OF ARTICLE As reported in “What to Expect”

Kardashian_highheels

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Dr. Jeffrey Alpern of Vein Specialists of Arizona feels the issues mentioned in the article in What to Expect On Varicose Veins are very important. Most important is to have your varicose veins examined by a vein specialist to be certain no underlying venous disease exists. For more information on the relationship of pregnancy and varicose veins please visit VeinsAZ.com

For some basic information on varicose veins and pregnancy, read on:

What varicose veins during pregnancy are?

The large, swollen blood vessels found predominantly in the legs, but that can show up almost anywhere in the lower half of your body. (In fact, hemorrhoids are nothing more than varicose veins in the area around your rectum — but at least you don’t have to look at those.) When they swell above the surface of the skin, they create those distinctive purplish bulges women love to hate.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?

The extra volume of blood you produce during pregnancy is essential to support two growing bodies. It does, however, put extra pressure on your blood vessels, especially the veins in your legs, which have to work against gravity to push all that extra blood back up to your heart. Add to that the pressure your burgeoning uterus puts on your pelvic blood vessels, and the vessel-relaxing effects of the extra progesterone your body is producing, and you have the perfect recipe for varicose veins.

What you need to know about varicose veins during pregnancy?

You may not like the way varicose veins look (who would?), and they may itch or ache, but they’re unlikely to put either you or your baby at any risk. The good news is that in most cases, if you didn’t have them before you got pregnant, your varicose veins shrink or disappear altogether within a few months after you give birth. The not-so-good news? If you have another baby, there’s no way of preventing varicose veins that time around (the same veins are likely to pop out again). And like many other pregnancy symptoms, including stretch marks, varicose veins tend to be hereditary. If your mother had them during pregnancy, you’re more likely to have them, too.

There is some remote risk that a varicose vein could become inflamed, possibly indicating a blood clot, so be sure to keep your practitioner informed and aware of your varicose veins.

What to do about varicose veins during pregnancy?

Preventing varicose veins isn’t a perfect science, but these tips can definitely help:
• Keep the blood circulating. Get off your feet whenever you can, and keep your legs elevated when sitting. When standing, put one foot on a low stool and alternate legs. Flex your ankles every so often, and break the habit of sitting with your legs crossed (this strategy will also help keep spider veins at bay).
• Exercise is key in preventing varicose veins. Take a walk (or even better still, several walks) each day, or do some other form of low-key, circulation-increasing exercises.
• Make sure you wear clothes — including underwear — that fit well and don’t bind, especially around the tops of your legs. Don’t wear tight belts or socks with tight elastic tops, and stay away from tight-fitting shoes and stiletto heels (as if you could balance in them anyway).
• One kind of tight that’s helpful though: support hose, which can counteract the downward pressure of your belly and give the veins in your legs a little extra upward push. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning to prevent the blood from pooling. (Okay, not your sexiest pregnancy moment!)
• Keep your weight gain during pregnancy down to what your practitioner recommends. Extra poundage only increases the demands on your already overworked circulatory system.
• Sleep on your left side to avoid pressure on your main blood vessels, and keep circulation going strong.
• Don’t strain. Heavy lifting or straining on the toilet can add to vein visibility.
• Get your daily dose of vitamin C from your balanced diet, which keeps veins healthy.
• If the veins don’t go away after the baby has arrived, you can think about having them medically treated or surgically removed then — but not during pregnancy.

jeffrey_300

ABOUT VEIN SPECIALISTS OF ARIZONA

Vein Specialists of Arizona (VSA) is a state-of-the-art vein center that defines a new standard in care for the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, leg ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. From vein treatments that correct existing underlying pathology to procedures that erase spider veins before the patient’s eyes, we think you will find VSA to be your best choice for venous issues. Your compassionate, effective, safe, affordable and convenient vein treatment at VSA begins with an ultrasound screening exam. Please visit website, http://VeinsAZ.com or call 623-428-0068.

ABOUT DR. JEFFREY ALPERN, D.O.

Dr. Jeffrey Alpern is a Cardiovascular Surgeon who was the first D.O. to perform a heart and heart/lung transplant in the world. Among his other impressive qualifications, Dr. Alpern trained at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and was Surgical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at both Temple University and Hahnemann University Hospitals in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He currently is Director and founding member of Desert Cardiovascular Surgeons in Phoenix, and of Vein Specialists of Arizona recently located in the West Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, D.O is one of a handful of surgeons worldwide to use fast, virtually painless, safe and effective laser ablation and radiofrequency (RF) techniques for the treatment of existing varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulcers.

ABOUT DR. GARY KERSTEN, M.D.

Board Certified Phlebologist, Gary L. Kersten, M.D., has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years, dedicating his practice exclusively to the treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency since 2007. Dr. Kersten began his medical career as a Board Certified OB/GYN in Michigan, IL and Arizona. Many women first suffer varicose veins during pregnancy. When Dr. Kersten had the opportunity for advanced specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, he discovered his true passion. Dr. Kersten joined the medical team of Vein Specialists of Arizona in 2013.