Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
Pregnancy can you an amazing experience for many expectant mothers, and although the list of changes that your body goes through is extensive, we’re going to stick to the things we specialise in right here at The Private Clinic; in this case: Varicose Veins.
What are Varicose Veins?
As your blood travels through your veins, small one-way valves open to let it through, and then shut to stop it from going back the way it came. If a vein’s walls are stretched and they become loose, the valves may weaken, causing the blood to leak and reverse course.
Should this happen, the blood will pool and collect inside the vein, making it enlarged and swollen.
Where do Varicose Veins come from and how does pregnancy affect them?
Just as it is with many conditions, your genes are strong contributing factors to the appearance of varicose veins – if your mother had varicose veins during pregnancy, it’s probable that you will too. It’s worth noting that the chances increase with every pregnancy (the more the merrier, right?).
With every pregnancy, your growing uterus adds pressure on the major vein on the right-hand side of your body – called the inferior vena cava- as well as the veins in your pelvis, which in turn translates to increased pressure on your leg veins.
Moreover, the amount of blood in your system will increase, and the weight from your womb will make it more difficult for it to return to the heart.
What’s more, during pregnancy your body ends up producing more of a hormone called progesterone. It helps the foetus develop, encourages breast tissue growth while preventing lactation, and act to strengthen the pelvic wall muscles before labour. As you can see, it’s pretty important, but it also relaxes smooth muscle – found in vein walls and is responsible for their contraction – contributing to vein dilation.
Finally, your chances will also increase depending on how heavy you were at the start of your pregnancy – and how much weight you gain during – as people who are overweight are generally more at risk of developing varicose veins.
How do I ease the pain?
As varicose veins develop they can grow to be quite painful and make it difficult to walk, but luckily there are measures you can take to manage your discomfort until it’s safe for you to have them treated post delivery.
- Put your feet up as often as possible.
- Try sleeping on your left side to decrease the pressure on the inferior vena cava.
- Consider sleeping with your legs placed higher than the rest of your body by putting pillows under your ankles.
- Bend and stretch your foot up and down.
- Rotate your foot in alternative circular motions.
- Change position often and don’t stand or sit for too long.
- Wear supportive garments such as support tights.
- Try walking or swimming to increase your circulation.
Pain and discomfort tend to lessen following childbirth, but your veins may nevertheless keep causing you problems. The best way to deal with them is to treat them with the Gold Standard treatment, Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) and permanently get rid of the damaged vein.
What is EVLA?
Traditionally, varicose veins treatment involves removing the troublesome vessel, but nowadays a far more advanced technique is at our disposal. EVLA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser energy to close off varicose veins from the inside without the need for surgery. The treatment is carried out under local anaesthetic and is a walk-in, walk-out treatment. That means you could be on your way back home within an hour.
Ultrasound imaging is used to guide a laser-tipped fibre through a micro-catheter to the point of origin of the targeted vein. The laser is then used to apply heat to the area in order to collapse the vein’s walls, and cause the blood to be redirected through healthier vessels. Results are permanent and you can see them directly after the treatment is complete.
In order to be as precise as possible, we also offer a free ultrasound (worth over £350) during consultations with our Consultant Vascular Surgeons, to pinpoint the defective valves and map out your vein. The procedure comes with a 95% success rate and has NICE’s (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Gold Standard stamp of approval.
VenaSeal treatment is also available at The Private Clinic which is a closure system that uses medical adhesive to close varicose veins. blood is re-routed through other healthy veins located deeper within the leg VenaSeal is a great option for patients who have a needle phobia as VenaSeal only requires a single injection per vein. A small catheter will be inserted into your leg once the area has been numbed. Your surgeon will use an ultrasound to guide the small catheter through the affected veins. The VenaSeal tool then dispenses small amounts of medical grade Sapheon Glue that works to close the vein. Once closed, the vein is then absorbed gradually by the body and blood is re-routed through other healthy veins located deeper within the leg.
We also offer Foam Sclerotherapy and Phlebectomy treatments for patients who are not suitable for EVLA or VenaSeal procedures.
Varicose Vein Removal at The Private Clinic
We have over 35 years of experience offering minimally invasive treatments with proven results. We have some of the UK’s top Consultant Vascular Surgeons working under our roof, who are dedicated to providing you with excellent care and advice. Our EVLA treatments are competitively priced, last an hour, are done under local anaesthetic and there’s barely any downtime at all.
- The least invasive method for varicose veins and thread veins removal treatment for your legs, body and face.
- Our Consultant vascular surgeons are pioneers in EVLA(Endovenous Laser Ablation) and have treated thousands of patients.
- No lengthy downtime or recovery required.
- The NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Gold Standard for treatment of Varicose Veins findings show that the success rate after five years for EVLA is 95.4%.
- A consultation with one of our Consultant Vascular Surgeons costs £150, including a free ultrasound scan of your legs (usually priced between £350 and £450 at most clinics and private hospitals).
- We focus on the underlying cause of your veins and you will only see a Consultant Vascular surgeon for varicose veins.
- We have treated thousands of patients who have regained their confidencewhilst avoiding health issues.
- Treatment takes one hour, you can go home shortly after being treated.
- Owing to our success, we have been featured on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies , TLC’s My Naked Secret and featured in Harper’s Bazaar’s Cosmetic Tweakment Trends for 2019.
- We have carried out over 7,000 procedures in treating Veins.
- View our varicose vein before and after photos.
- Read our extensive varicose vein FAQs.
- Take a look at our varicose vein patient stories.
- Find out more in our varicose vein blogs.
- Download our varicose veins treatment brochure.
Expert Vascular Surgeons
- Mr Constantinos Kyriakides, MD, FRCS(Gen). GMC 3275436
- Mr Dynesh Rittoo, MBChB, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Gen Surg). GMC 3556456
- Mr Charles Ranaboldo, BM, FRCS, MS. GMC Number: 2939195
- Professor Rajiv Kumar Vohra, MBBS. GMC Number: 3158700
- Mr Tahir Hussain, MBBS,MS, FRCS. GMC Number: 3242669
- Mr Rajiv Pathak, MBBS, MS, FRCS, FRCS(Gen). GMC Number: 4585309
- Mr Ferdinand Serracino-Inglott, MD, FRCSI, FRCS(Gen), DIC MSc. GMC Number: 5206200
To find out more about varicose vein treatment or to book a consultation, please call 0333 920 2471 or use our Varicose Vein online contact form.