We all know that during pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes, including varicose veins. As the fetus grows into a baby, the uterus enlarges to accommodate this growth. Along with hormonal changes and the obvious enlargement of the mother’s “belly”, there are internal adjustments being made as well. As a result, many women discover new unwanted varicose veins in their legs and other areas.
The leg veins return blood to the heart in a passive flow mechanism. This is enhanced by the calf muscle pumping the blood back up through the veins. In the pelvic area, the leg veins carry the blood into the iliac veins, which then come together to form the inferior vena cava which then drains into the right side of the heart. As the uterus expands, it can compress the iliac veins, forming an “hourglass” effect. So, what then happens, blood flow going up is under higher pressure due to the tightness of the vein at that bottleneck area, and this back pressure causes the leg veins to bulge. Think of a 6 lane highway where 4 of the lanes close down, and all the traffic suddenly has to merge into 2 lanes. Not only is there back up on the highway, but the exit ramps back up as people try to avoid the slowdown.
In addition, women normally gain weight during pregnancy. This added weight and fluid retention, often due to hormonal changes of pregnancy, causes swelling in the soft tissues of the legs. It also adds stress to the veins as gravity exerts more pressure downwards and it is more difficult to pump the blood up to the heart.
Once a vein is dilated, it can rarely regain its original size. (Think of a sweater that stretches out with use over the years, then when you lose weight, the sweater is too big.) As veins get larger, the valves inside the veins stretch apart and become more incompetent, so the reflux (reversal of blood flow in the vein) also gets worse. This is why it is very common for second or third time pregnancies to cause more vein problems than the first pregnancy. In addition, more distal veins get involved, and more spider veins become obvious.
Other areas where pregnancy can cause vein problems are the breasts, the anal and the labial areas. Usually breast veins regress after pregnancy and after a woman stops breast feeding. However, they may persist as blue-green veins traveling to the nipple area. In the genital region, it is the same pelvic pressure changes that can cause hemorrhoids to form and bulging swollen vulvar abnormalities. These abnormalities often remain long after the pregnancy is over, and can cause significant pain and deformity.
The good news is that all of the changes that occur and are discussed above can be treated very effectively. Office based management includes laser closures, micro-excision procedures and chemical injections (Sclerotherapy). There are no big incisions or general anesthesia necessary. We take a comprehensive approach to treating vein problems, and do not limit our patients to any single option (hemorrhoid treatment is usually referred to a general surgeon and may require outpatient hospital care). Many of the treatments are covered by insurance, too! So if you or someone you know has a problem similar to what was discussed above, call The Kimmel Institute so that we can help get you on track for a happier, healthier life!
Dr. Richard Kimmel is a Board Certified Cardiothoracic and Vascular (CTV) Surgeon who has been in private practice in South Florida since 1991. He is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, a Clinical Investigator with the NIH, an Affiliate Member of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center of the University of South Florida, and an Assistant Clinical Instructor in Surgery at the Nova-Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Davie, Florida.
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I can’t say enough about this doc. He goes above and beyond the scope of the usual doc. Will do anything he has to do to accomplish the best outcome. I can’t say enough about him and his staff
Having developed varicose veins at a young age and watching a family member go through the procedures multiple times with more than one doctor and little success, my experience with Dr. Kimmel and his staff was outstanding. The large bulging veins (that kept me out of shorts in the hot Florida sun) and the achiness/itching in my legs is gone. I had one session the resolve my spider veins as well which is proving to be equally successful. I would highly recommend Dr. Kimmel for anyone who needs to have this procedure done. And Melissa, Julie, Clara and other staff were excellent, professional, honest and great at what they do.
I went to Dr Kimmel for varicose veins. I had been to other doctors in the past and he is by far the most thorough and knowledgeable doctor I have been to. He treats the underlying issues first which many doctors do not. His staff is also fantastic. Professional, knowledgeable and kind. If you need a vein doctor, do not go to anyone but him. Too many people advertise themselves as “vein treatment centers” and don’t know what they are doing. Dr Kimmel is truly a doctor who specializes in vascular issues and was great. Highly recommend
From the first visit to the last I was very satisfied with the doctor and his wonderful assistant, nurse and staff. The words to use, caring, professional and answered all my questions clearly. I would definitely recommend Dr, Kimmel to my family and friends. The doctor explained what he would do for the veins on my legs and the procedure. It has only been 3 weeks and my legs have improved so much & will continue to do so.Very positive experience.
I have just recently had the laser vein procedure on both of my legs done for extremely heavy various veins at the Kimmel Institute and cannot tell you how happy I am with the results. Dr. Kimmel and all of his staff were wonderful, professional and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I found Dr. Kimmel on the internet and started researching him and came up with only positive findings. I was still a little nervous about finding a doctor on the internet but when I called the office and came in for the initial screening, I knew I was in the right place. Check him out for yourself and I know you will be a happy as I am. Thank you, Dr. Kimmel and staff!
Dr. Kimmel and his Staff are an unbeatable combination of knowledge, expertise and Tender Loving Care. I enjoyed a truly positive experience from beginning to end…could not be happier with the results. Go… Kimmel Institute!
Richard Kimmel is the BEST. I had an extremely wonderful experience. Julie & Melissa really made it brainless for me. I highly recommend. Anyone that does not use him in my opinion is a fool. He is really that great. You won’t be disappointed. If there were more “stars” I would give it to Dr. Kimmel and his wonderful staff.
I called the office and new I found the right place. My first visit and consultation confirmed that. It was such a pleasure to be treated like I was their PRIORITY, not just another patient passing through. They answered all my questions and I felt comfortable asking them. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable; truly an experience like this is hard to find these days. Oh, and by the way…my legs look and feel GREAT!!! Highly recommend!!!
I underwent an ambulatory microphlebectomy,a chemical ablation and sclerotherapy with Dr Kimmel. He is a professional efficient surgeon. The whole staff especially Melissa and Clara are wonderful as well. They all create a calming atmosphere while the procedures are being performed. I have never been to an office where everyone shows they care about you. This is that type of place that Dr Kimmel has.
About The Kimmel Institute
We are committed to professional excellence in everything we do.
Our care has been refined by more than two decades of serving the community as a private practice.
Dr. Kimmel is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of vein care.
We act as a center of excellence, providing laser training for surgeons around the country.
All treatments are performed by top notch, licensed, and certified medical specialists.
The Kimmel Institute:
1905 Clint Moore Road Suite 215 Boca Raton, FL 33496