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Varicose Vein treatment (EVLA) and breastfeeding

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  • Varicose Vein treatment (EVLA) and breastfeeding

    I have tried to call the hotline many times, without success.
    I'm hoping someone here might be able to help.

    I have painful varicose veins that I will be receiving treatment (EVLA) for soon, starting with 2 separate procedures, possibly more to follow. I have a 6 month old who nurses about 6x/ day.

    The vascular doctor does not have experience with breastfeeding mothers - he said to "pump and dump" for 96 hours post-op, to be safe.

    Topically, lidocaine, benzocaine, and tetracaine will be used.
    Injected, there will be lidocaine with epinephrine.

    I would like to know if any of these medications pose a risk to my breastfeeding infant, and how long I ought to "pump and dump" after the outpatient procedure. Four days seems a bit long to me.

    Thank you in advance

  • #2

    The topical anesthetics should not be a problem as they are minimally absorbed topically. The epinephrine should also be ok as it has a short half-life of a few minutes and has poor oral absorption. "Although likely to be secreted in milk, it is rapidly destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract. It is unlikely that any would be absorbed by the infant unless in the early neonatal period or premature." (Medications and Mothers' Milk database, Dr Thomas Hale PhD.)

    I spoke with Dr Hale about this because I am not familiar with this procedure and how much lidocaine might be used and he advised to wait until all feeling is back around the area (roughly about 6-8 hours) and then you could continue to nurse as lidocaine has a short half-life of 1.8 hours. Make sure no other medications are used as this could change the advise given.

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center