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How can I treat varicose veins if I am pregnant?

This question was asked in Anaheim, California and has 6 answer(s) as of 09/17/2012.
I'm 7 months pregnant I have a lot of varicose veins. I go through a lot of pain due to these veins growing more and more every day. I would like to know if caloptima or health neat would pay for this treatment?


Doctors Answers (6)

Yes and no. This wishy-washy answer is based on medical semantics. There are basically 2 types of treatment for varicose veins. Conservative and definitive. Conservative treatment involves compression stockings, leg elevation and exercise, so yes, you may do conservative therapy during pregnancy. However, I think the treatments you meant were the definitive ones: injections, lasers, etc, and no you may not have definitive therapy during pregnancy. There are a few reasons why. First, most varicose veins get worse in pregnancy, however they will improve after pregnancy, so there is a chance after you deliver, you won't need treatment at all. Second, although the treatments are probably safe for the pregnancy, there are some risks, which are actually increase during pregnancy and you wouldn't want to do anything to increase the risk to your pregnancy or your unborn child. Usually, it is recommended to wait 4 months after the pregnancy to begin definitive treatments. If you are still breastfeeding during sclerotherapy injection treatments, it is recommended to express and discard (pump and dump) your breast milk for 24 hours after treatment.

Varicose veins are usually treated after, not during pregnancy. Until delivery you may wear properly fit compression stockings for leg veins and a Prenatal Cradle for vulvar veins.

Varicose Veins develop frequently in pregnancy due to an increase in the body's total blood volume, the expanding uterus placing pressure on pelvic veins, (both of which cause an increase pressure of the leg veins), as well as hormonal changes which can cause vein walls to relax and weaken. Prevention and symptomatic treatment is important to reduce the occurrence and degree of problems which may develop. These include: leg elevation regularly, exercising, maintaining normal pregnancy weight gain, and wearing compression stockings. For some mothers, these varicose veins disappear shortly after the birth of their infant. If you continue to have varicose veins and/or the pain and swelling persists, you should see a physician who specializes in vein diseases. They can diagnose which veins are involved with a duplex ultrasound evaluation and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan for you. Your insurance plan may cover these treatments, but you should contact your carrier to determine your exact benefits.

I do not practice medicine in California so I can not specifically comment on caloptima. However, most treatments for varicose veins are covered by insurance, including Medicaid and Tricare Treatment of your varicose veins should be postponed until approximately 6 weeks after you deliver your baby. In the meantime, compression hose should help with your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about prescribing a pair compression hose for you.

During pregnancy, varicose veins should be managed conservatively with compression stockings (thigh high stockings tend to be more comfortable than full waist pantyhose), leg elevation, and exercise. After delivery, your symptoms may improve and the varicose veins may regress in size. This may occur up to 3 months following delivery. If your varicose veins are still bothersome after 3 months, you may consider vein treatment, but not before then since there are still hormonal changes.

If you have varicose veins during pregnancy, wear compression hose. It should make you feel better, and the hose protect the skin over the varicose veins to some extent. Most pregnant women with varicose veins will see substantial improvement after delivery, but it can take a few months. If the varicose veins are still present after 6 months, however, it may be time to have them treated. If you are breast feeding, your doctor may have you store milk. If sclerotherapy is necessary, your doctor may delay repair until you have stopped breast feeding.

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