Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

 

 

 

WHAT IS PELVIC CONGESTION SYNDROME?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is the second leading cause of chronic pelvic pain, after endometriosis, in women. Like varicose veins in the legs, pelvic congestion syndrome is related to malfunctioning vlaves within the pelvic veins.

Valves in these pelvic veins normally allow blood to flow towards your hear. When the veins become weakened or the valves do not close properly, the blood can flow backwards toward the pelvis. Blood in the weakened pelvic vein pools, causing the veins to bulge and push against nearby structures. This can result in pain and pressure in the uterus, ovaries, vulva, and back.

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN?

Chronic pelvic pain associated with pelvic congestion is usually felt in the lower abdomen and lower back. You may experience:

  • Deep pelvic pain when sitting or standing
  • Pelvic pain that worsens throughout the day
  • Bulging veins on the vulva, buttocks, or thighs
  • Painful/irregular menstrual cycles
  • Pelvic pain during/after intercourse
  • Irritable bladder
  • Lower abdominal and back pain

Many women with pelvic congestion syndrome spend many years trying to get an answer to why they have this chronic pelvic pain. Living with chronic pelvic pain is difficult and affects not only the woman but her interaction with family, friends, and her general outlook on life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COULD MY CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN BE CAUSED BY OVARIAN VERICOSE VEINS?

To find out, your gynecologist will first rule out other treatable conditions with a comprehensive pelvic exam.

Since bulging ovarian veins are relieved when lying down for a pelvic exam, your provider will order a pelvic ultrasound with valsalva (bearing down). When bearing down, the veins will become apparent and a positive diagnosis can be made. (If you have had an abdominal pelvic CT Venogram, that test can be used instead of exam.

WHAT IS OVE?

Ovarian Vein Embolization (OVE) is a minimally invasive nonsurgical treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome. The procedure seals of problematic veins, preventing them from enlaring with blood. Healthier veins take over. OVE is performed by an interventional radiologist, a board-certified and fellowship-trained physician with expertise in vascular and venous disease. During the outpatient procedure your physician makes a tiny incision in the groin or neck. Guided by real-time X-ray imaging, a catheter is directed to the faulty veins for treatment.

Tiny vascular plugs or coils with a sclerosing (ablative) agent are placed in the ovarian veins to seal off troublesome major veins. A foam sclerosing agent is used to block smaller veins. The decompressed veins no longer cause pressure or pain.

Up to 95% of women report improvement of symptoms.

 

WHY CONSIDER OVE?

Ovarian Vein Embolization (OVE) is a minimally invasive (non-surgical) treatment for pelvic congestion syndromee with the following benefits:

 

WHERE IS OVE PERFORMED?

The ovarian vein embolization procedure will be performed in out Angiography suite at Bell Hospital Your consultation prior to the procedure will be held at the Bell Vascular Vein Clinic

If you have pelvic pain that worsens throughout the day when standing you may want to seek a second opinion with an Interventional Radiologist who can work with your gynecologist. You can ask for a referral from your doctors and call the radiology department at
(906) 485-2632.

 

WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE?

Most insurance companies cover this procedure. Please contact your insurance provider to determine coverage under you specific plan. Your doctor's office can help you with the precertification process