Should You Treat Spider or Varicose Veins Now If You’re Planning a Pregnancy?
If you’ve noticed the development of small spider veins or larger varicose veins on your stomach and legs following a pregnancy, you may be anxiously researching removal methods. You may also wonder whether it’s worthwhile to seek treatment if you’re planning on becoming pregnant again in the near future. Is it worth it to treat spider and varicose veins now or will you simply need to repeat this process after your childbearing years have ended?
Read on to learn more about some minimally invasive varicose vein treatments, as well as the factors you’ll want to consider when scheduling these procedures.
How Can You Treat Spider Veins or Varicose Veins That Developed During Pregnancy?
Although many women of prior generations who developed varicose veins during pregnancy were limited to an invasive “vein-stripping” surgery, there are now several much less invasive ways to minimize the appearance of these veins, from laser ablation therapy to ultrasound guided sclerotherapy treatments. These treatment methods have shown over time to be quite effective in eliminating varicose vein.
This vein treatment has replaced the older, more brutal vein stripping procedures of the past. It involves using a high-intensity laser to effectively burn the inside lumen of the varicose vein. This heat induced damage to the vein lumen subsequently forces the body to fill the treated vein in with scar tissue. This effectively cuts off the blood flow to the vein, causing the vein to die and ultimately get reabsorbed by the body.
With the blood now gone out of the treated vein, the blue/purple appearance of the vein now fades away. As an added bonus, this therapy can be performed without making even a single incision.
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
This vein treatment involves the injection of a foamed sclerosant into the affected vein. The foam sclerosant in turn chemically burns the inside lumen of the varicose vein. The end result is a vein filled in with scar tissue and devoid of blood flow. The procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance to enable the physician to see the varicose veins which are often 1-3 cm below the skin surface and therefore not visible at the skin level. Utilizing the ultrasound also allows the physician to safely monitor where and how the foam is working thus minimizing potential undesired complications.
Vein treatments are generally not recommended during the pregnancy period itself due to the potential complications that are often associated with any form of vein treatment. Physicians typically recommend that the patient wait at least a month or so after delivery before entertaining the possibility of undergoing any form of vein treatment. This delay gives your body the opportunity to recover naturally from the pregnancy. The additional fluid retention, weight gain, and fluctuating hormones experienced during pregnancy can create a perfect storm of factors that make veins appear swollen, even when they may not yet be considered true varicose veins. Giving your body this time to recover can often allow these veins to become less noticeable or even completely disappear.
Is It Worth It to Have These Veins Treated If You’d Like to Become Pregnant Again?
Whether a lady should treat their vein issues prior to their next pregnancy really depends on how much vein disease they currently possess and whether they experienced any actual vein related discomfort during their previous pregnancies or are currently experiencing symptoms even before pregnancy.
Vein disease is progressive which means that it only gets worse if left untreated. Pregnancy magnifies any existing vein issues and helps to accelerate the formation of new vein issues. It does not give you vein disease which is an inherited trait. Therefore, if the woman is suffering from vein discomfort currently or had issues during their last pregnancy, that discomfort will only be magnified with any subsequent pregnancy. That is why the decision to treat or not to treat prior to a planned pregnancy hinges on that question. It is highly recommended that women pursue treatment prior to the pregnancy to help minimize unnecessary vein discomfort during their next pregnancy. For those women who are asymptomatic, the decision is theirs to make.
Treatment prior to pregnancy will never guarantee that new veins will not appear. Where treatment is beneficial is that it helps to eliminate the discomfort women may feel during pregnancy. Call The Sheen Vein Institute’s team of vein specialists for pre and post pregnancy needs.