32 Year Old Mommy - 3 Kids - BULGING VEINS. Bonita Springs, FL

I joined RealSelf to learn about breast...

I joined RealSelf to learn about breast augmentation options (hence my name, haha) but I realized "oh wait I'm having vein surgery next week. I bet people might want to know about that!" :)

Everyone in my mother's family and my mother have AWFUL varicose veins. I mean bad. I mean I wouldn't wear anything but pants ever if it was me. Bad. I did not have any issues until my first pregnancy.

During my first pregnancy I worked out 4 times a week and had gained about 35 lbs at week 36. The outside of my left knee burned and itched and I could see that I was starting to form a bulging varicose vein. It wasn't too bad at all but of course I freaked out. Haha! I developed anemia around 38 weeks and had to quit going to the gym AND I ended up delivering 2 weeks after my due date. Somehow all at the end there I gained a TON of water weight, which I'm sure out pressure on my veins but after delivery and losing weight it was pretty unnoticeable.

Fast forward, I had baby #2 14-months after #1, and baby #3 22-months after #2

I gained the same amount of weight each time and each time my veins bulged and hurt worse than before.

During pregnancy of #3 I was straining for a BM and I felt a big pop of pain in my labial area. Truly it felt like I had just delivered a baby. I struggled to walk out of the restroom feeling sore (really reaallllly felt like I just had a baby!) and just felt like I needed to put my legs up and rest. I discovered that a bulging varicose vein in my leg had burst up and into my left labia. So I had to take it easy and apply ice for a few days before I felt less discomfort. I could see that there was a definite bulge that had formed and was so scared I would need some sort of reconstructive surgery!! But when I delivered, it went away.

I decided to make an appointment with Dr. Magnant because my left leg was really burning and itching at times, so much that I'd have to lie down (not really possible with two toddlers and a newborn, right?).

I went to his office in Bonita Springs. It was nice and clean. I was quite comfortable in the waiting area. They also have Otis Spunkmeyer cookies ;)

The first thing was to get an ultrasound on the veins. I had to put on some very fashionable throwaway shorts and lie down for the tech to scan the vein. She explained that the ultrasound not only determines what veins are failing (and thus pool with blood to give the nasty varicose vein look) but also which veins are feeding it. So she scanned down my entire leg and intermittently asked me to push down like I was having a BM until she told me to stop. That happened several times and it did seem like a long time each time.

When we finished, she had me get dressed. Off to meet the PA to talk about the ultrasound!

The PA was very nice and told me that my veins were quite bad. She said that they measure in seconds how long the valves fail when the ultrasound tech was having me push down and numbers more than 10 seconds are considered advanced. Mine were more than 10 (which is why it felt like I was having to bear down for so long!) and that the veins that were feeding the areas that needed treatment were not being fed by pelvic veins which was a good thing because that meant I could have the surgery.

Yay! Plus because it was so bad my insurance would cover it (I did receive a pre-authorization and will only have to pay my copay which is $40).

The Dr. came in while she was still with me and explained the procedure. Basically they make a small incision to feed a tiny tube through the vein that is to be treated and you are given local anesthesia up and down that vein so that you do not feel the laser light. Then they turn the laser on as they gently pull the tube back out. All of this is being guided by ultrasound and the vein basically turns into scar tissue after that. With traditional vein "stripping" the body actually grows the veins back! With scar tissue formed, the body finds other avenues to get the blood back to the heart.

I have to have two veins treated - one that runs from my inner ankle to inner thigh and one that runs across my thigh (sort of diagonally). Interestingly, the nasty bulging one around my knee area will not be lasers but should flatten out on its own after the other two are treated because the blood won't be able to get there anymore.

I also have to have an ultrasound a week after the surgery to check for blood clots. It is a minimal risk but best handled ASAP if it happens.

I had to buy a compression stocking to wear after the surgery for 2-3 weeks ($20) and that's that! I'm looking forward to getting this done :)

Compression stocking

I had to start wearing my thigh-high compression garment yesterday in order to get used to wearing it before the surgery. My post-op instructions are to wear the stocking for 24 hours then about 8 hours a day for 2-3 weeks. It's not so bad to wear (it is footless so at least I don't have to wear special shoes, but it seems to take FOR-EV-ER to put on! I use playtex grippy/cleaning gloves to help and it does help to get a good grip on them and smooth it it out.

My leg does feel better while I'm wearing it but when I took it off last night I noticed that my veins were actually bulging and pooling more than I'd seen since I was pregnant. That's not hot! :)

I'll keep wearing until my surgery, as instructed.

T-3 hours!

Today is the day for the EVLT procedure. I am to be at the office at 8:15 - bring a sweater, don't shave my leg that's being treated or apply lotion and bring my compression garment with me.

I am beginning to get nervous about the local anesthesia part but I have considered smartlipo so if I can't do this then there's no way I can do that. I'm sure there's no reason to be anxious I just want to get it over with! :)

Post-op doing great!

I had my procedure today on my great sapphenous vein only (my insurance requires me to wait 3 months to treat the other one I need treated). It was such a wonderful procedure - truly just one beesting-like prick and the rest was great! 15 mins in and out!

Now I am to leave my compression stocking on for 24 hours and then during the day for 2 weeks.

The doctor is great. Highly recommend! :)
Dr. Joseph Magnant

Dr. Magnant seems very knowledgeable and is a very nice man.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (5)

Hiii :) well thats a varicose veins expérience :) I have some question please i hope u could answer them :) I m 24 years old, notmmarried and no children yet . And il wondering should i treat my varicose veins now! Or should i wait!? I went to several doctors, and the last one who was good by reputation told me to stop worrying, and he mocked me when i told him that my legs hurt most of the time! And told me that i am subject of varicose veins indeed and that i Will have to go through surgery some day but years from now. I wad wondering. Should i talk about fixing them now or not? Iam really really too afraid! Im scared to death of them and this whole thing. I dont think i can handle it! Im too receptive of pain and i really want to know what i have to do. Especially that some day i intend and want to have kids! Is there a way to avoid the pain! I mean if it hurts now. I dont want to imagine it after pregnancies Thanks so much! Im really looking forward to your réspond! Xoxo
  • Reply
Hi there! I too was apprehensive about going to get them checked out. I mean was I just whining or what? What I realized was that a reputable vein specialist will give you an ultrasound and look for medical evidence for treating your veins instead of just looking at them and making a determination. For insurance, they must provide ultrasound evidence of the veins leaking for so many seconds in order for the insurance to cover it, so you must find a vein specialist who will do an ultrasound as your first appointment. I'd call around and ask whoever is listed as vein surgeons in your area and see what their protocol is for treating veins. I didn't know any of this before I made an appointment for my veins, in fact I was thinking "isn't an ultrasound a little drastic, I mean it's just a couple veins around me knee giving me trouble" but the veins around my knee aren't really the trouble. They are a symptom of deeper trouble that ended up being really bad even though I don't feel any pain there. Pretty weird! Let me know what you find out and if you have any more questions. Only you know how much pain you are in and how bothersome it is to you. That's not to say that nothing will rear it's ugly hear during pregnancy or later on but at least you can treat what you have going on now and be comfortable :)
  • Reply
Is the vein that runs from your ankle to inner thigh the one that gave you all the trouble when you were pregnant and popped out while you were on the toilet?  I'm glad you are able to have this fixed (and paid for by insurance)- you have been very busy in the mom department so it is nice that you can take care of some of your needs now :)

Keep us posted on how the surgery goes!
  • Reply
No the one that is hurting and bulging is the one by my knee!! That's why it's so fascinating that by treating the other two veins (the one that runs down my inner leg I can't see at all, the one that runs across my thigh I can see some) then the "problem area" (in my opinion) is going to be fixed as a result. The doctor did say it would take 2-3 months to flatten out and if it still bulged out a little, he could pull a little out and snip it off to flatten it out after that. Hopefully it will get better on its own! :).
  • Reply
Okay gotcha- I wasn't sure if that one vein was the same one as the knee vein.  I agree- hopefully everything will get better!  Keep us posted :)
  • Reply