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8 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Vein Disease
McClellan Medical Mall & Meeting Center

256-770-2230 • doctor@lewisesellersmd.com

171 Town Center Drive, Anniston, Alabama 36205 Lewis E. Sellers MD

Content on this website is not considered medical advice. Please see a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.

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Getting Relief from Vein Problems
During and After Your Pregnancy

 

 

Woman looks at photo of baby in the wombAs your pregnancy develops and while you breast feed, you may develop spider veins, varicose veins, edema and fatigue. Often, you may find your feet and ankles are swollen by the end of the day.

 

Why does this happen?

These problems are caused during pregnancy as the body prepares to nourish and support the growing child by increasing the volume of circulating blood in the body. The increase in blood puts extra pressure on the veins of the legs causing them to dilate and expand. This increase coupled with an increase in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, act in concert to weaken the vein walls and allow the veins to stretch in order to hold the extra blood volume. As the fetus grows, the pressure inside the abdomen and pelvis increases putting more pressure on the veins and legs. This makes it harder for the blood to flow up the leg.

 

How can I prevent it?

A good way to prevent these problems is to wear graduated compression hosiery (knee-highs, thigh-highs or maternity pantyhose).

 

Maternity pantyhose:

• Get blood moving back up the legs

• Ease leg cramps

• Diminish or prevent varicose veins

• Reduce edema or swelling

• Alleviate leg pain

• Help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

 

 

A Few Important Facts

 

The highest level of compression is at the foot and heel. The level of compression becomes less as the sock moves up the leg.Compression pantyhose are not the same thing as regular nylon stockings, tights, or elastic hosiery. Compression therapy works by using spandex fibers woven into the hosiery that applies graduated pressure to the legs and leg veins helping blood circulate more easily. Graduated compression means more pressure is applied to the lower part of the leg than to the upper. Lower levels of compression, such as 8-15mmHg are best for milder symptoms. For more severe symptoms, higher levels of compression are needed.

 

The correct level of compression and a properly fitting garment are essential for getting the best results. Maternity pantyhose are usually put on first thing in the morning and then removed right before bed time. Be sure to consult the brand-specific size chart for the brand of maternity pantyhose you are selecting. Don't guess at the level of compression you need--ask your doctor. Hose are available online.

 

If the problems persist after you deliver  your baby and finish breast feeding you'll want to schedule a consultation with a vein doctor. Typically we do not offer any treatment that is invasive or requires medication during pregnancy or breast feeding, unless severe pain or disability requires an accelerated schedule. Vein medications are not known to be harmful to mother or child if they get in the breast milk, but we suggest an abundance of caution in these circumstances.

 

New vein treatments are less invasive and more successful than old procedures. They can be done in the doctor's office with local anesthesia and are covered by many insurance providers. For women who suffered significantly from vein issues during a previous pregnancy, they are encouraged to move ahead with treatment  before their next pregnancy. This is because vein problems tend to get worse with each consecutive pregnancy.

 

 

Women who suffer with vein issues before their first pregnancy can benefit from the early treatment of spider and varicose veins. It is usually easier and less traumatic to treat vein issues when they are in the early stages rather than waiting for more serious issues to develop.

 

Dr. Sellers currently offers EVLA, a laser procedure, and Sclerotherapy for the treatment of vein disease. To learn more about the signs of vein disease and treatment options click here.

 

 

 

 

Guide to Compression Wear

 

8-15mmHg: Relief from tired aching legs, minor swelling. Energizes your legs.

 

15-20mmHg: Great for travel, standing or sitting for long periods of time. Relief from minor to moderate swelling and varicose veins, during pregnancy.

 

20-30mmHg: Relief from moderate to severe varicose veins and swelling, edema, lymphedema, venous insufficiency, superficial thrombophlebitis. Often prescribed post-sclerotherapy and to prevent venous stasis ulcers.

 

30-40mmHg: Relief from severe varicose veins and swelling, edema, lymphedema, DVT. Often prescribed post-sclerotherapy and to heal active venous stasis ulcers. Should only be worn under doctors supervision.

 

40-50mmHg: Should only be worn when prescribed by your doctor. For chronic venous insufficiency, post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) including: edema, hyperpigmentation, stasis dermatitis, stasis cellulitis, venous stasis ulcers.