Bulging, Painful Leg Veins During Pregnancy: Can They Be Treated?

Congratulations! You’re carrying a new life inside you,

A new member of the family on the way. While the arrival of a baby is a joyous occasion, coping with the many fast-paced changes to your body can be frustrating, to say the least. Although weight gain, hormonal changes and possible morning sickness are unpleasant side effects, they are at least expected. On the other hand, swollen, bulging and painful leg veins during pregnancy may surprise you when you’re not in the mood for any surprises.

Pregnancy requires you to be extra vigilant about your health because your heath now affects two lives. Carefully monitor your diet and medications for the benefit of you and your child. During your pregnancy, you likely assume there’s nothing you can do about your bulging and painful leg veins. But that isn’t entirely true. In northern NJ, Dr. Dmitry Gorelik of the Varicose Vein Center of New Jersey can help you design the most appropriate treatment for your pregnancy-caused leg veins.

The Causes of Leg Veins During Pregnancy

Several reasons exist why pregnancy leads to varicose veins. During your pregnancy, your body undergoes tremendous hormonal changes. Increased levels of progestin in your system dilate and widen your blood vessels enough to cause varicose veins. Dilated veins with more internal pressure weaken the vein walls, causing the veins to bulge.

As your baby grows in the womb, your uterus places increasing pressure on one of the most important veins of your body’s circulatory system: the inferior vena cava. This vein returns blood from your feet to your heart. When your body constricts this vein, the return blood flow from your legs weakens, a condition called venous insufficiency. Blood begins to pool in your legs, causing swelling.

To make matters worse, the normal and healthy weight gain that accompanies pregnancy in itself can lead to greater pressure on your veins. This pressure causes the valves and vein walls to weaken and fail. The result is swollen varicose veins.

Safe Treatment Options from Your Vein Specialist

While most pregnancy-related varicose veins disappear without treatment between six and twelve weeks after childbirth, Dr. Gorelik specializes in women’s vein issues, so he can provide reliable advice. The more children you’ve had, the longer the problem veins may persist. If they don’t disappear within a reasonable timeframe, you may wish to consult a vein specialist. At the Varicose Vein Center of New Jersey, Dr. Gorelik has several non-surgical and safe methods at his disposal for treating your uncomfortable veins, including:

  • Endovenous laser ablation. This minimally invasive approach employs a laser to collapse your unhealthy veins. Your doctor performs this procedure quickly and safely in his office.
  • Endovenous radiofrequency ablation. Similar to the laser technique, your doctor uses radio waves to target your damaged varicose veins and seal them. In both cases, your blood finds other veins; these procedures are not at all dangerous.
  • Sclerotherapy. Your vein specialist injects a chemical or saline solution directly into the damaged vein. The vein shrinks and closes, allowing surrounding blood vessels to transport the blood flow. The problem vein is absorbed by your body, disappearing over time.
  • Ambulatory phlebotomy. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure targets larger varicose veins. With the help of a local anesthetic, your vein specialist makes tiny incisions in the skin through which he removes the bulging veins. These incisions are so tiny they require no stitches and minimal recovery time.

Home Care for Leg Veins During Pregnancy

Varicose veins not only make you look older; these troublesome veins often cause itchiness and discomfort. Fortunately, most varicose veins during pregnancy aren’t severe health concerns, just a nuisance. After you’ve been correctly diagnosed by your NJ vein specialist, try some doctor-approved tips to minimize your discomfort, such as:

  • Exercise regularly and moderately to help the blood flow efficiently in your legs. Walking, biking, swimming or yoga are excellent exercises for you. Make sure you clear your exercise regimen with your vein doctor and obstetrician before starting anything new.
  • Take frequent breaks from whatever you’re doing throughout your day. Get up, stretch and walk around.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for too long.
  • Don’t cross your legs while you’re sitting.
  • Avoid high heels. Low-heeled or flat shoes are better for your calf muscles and improve circulation. This tip not only helps your leg veins during pregnancy, but even after childbirth.
  • Elevate your feet periodically throughout the day to promote blood flow from your legs back up to your heart.
  • Eat a healthy high-fiber diet and drink plenty of water to keep your bowels regular. Constipation hinders healthy circulation.
  • Sleep on your left side to relieve pressure on your inferior vena cava.
  • Consider maternity support hose. These compression stockings improve circulation through your calves.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Tight clothing constricts blood vessels and aggravates leg veins during pregnancy.

Whether painful or just unsightly, varicose leg veins during pregnancy can be safely treated. The team at the Varicose Vein Center of New Jersey finds the most effective treatment method for your leg veins without harming the child you’re carrying. Your health and that of your baby are of paramount importance. With three convenient locations in northern NJ — including Parsippany, Old Bridge and Sayreville — Dr. Dmitry Gorelik’s team is ready to lend a hand.

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book consultation My visit with Dr. Gorelik was possibly one of the best experiences I’ve had. Starting from the front desk on to the medical assistants, her staff are all top notch and very pleasant. Dr. Gorelik took his time to explain all my concerns, and made sure all my questions were addressed. verified user google
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