Pelvic Congestion Syndrome a chronic condition affecting women and is caused by varicose veins in the lower abdomen or pelvis. The cause of this condition is a result of the valves in the veins that help to return blood to the heart becoming weakened and not closing properly. As a result, blood begins to flow backwards and pools in the vein, creating pressure and bulging veins causing pain in the uterus, ovaries and vulva.
This condition typically affects women ages 20-50 that have had previous pregnancies and affects about 15% of women in the United States. Not everyone with pelvic congestion will experience symptoms, but if symptoms are present they are treatable with minimally invasive, procedures.
Diagnostic Tests and Procedures We Offer for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
The first step in treating pelvic congestion syndrome is to have diagnostic tests performed. Once your gynecologist has given you a thorough pelvic exam and has ruled out any abnormalities or inflammation, they will refer you for a specific minimally invasive diagnostic test to confirm that you do actually have varicose veins in your pelvic region, causing you chronic pain associated with pelvic congestion syndrome. The test is called Pelvic Venography.
- Pelvic venography: A venogram is a procedure that is performed by injecting a contrast agent (a type of dye) into the veins of the pelvic organs. This makes them visible during an x-ray, so that your physician can see if there is a varicose vein. Your physician will also examine you on an incline, because veins decrease in size when you lay flat.
- Once diagnostic tests have confirmed that you have pelvic congestion syndrome, we offer a minimally invasive treatment called ovarian vein embolization.
Ovarian vein embolization is performed by an interventional radiologist and done as an outpatient procedure, which means that under normal circumstances, no hospital or overnight stay is needed. The actual procedure is performed by inserting a thin catheter into the femoral vein in your groin. The catheter is guided to the affected vein with the assistance of fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray technology that allows the physician to visualize the veins. Tiny coils with a sclerosing agent (also used for varicose veins) are inserted through the catheter to close off the affected vein(s). In most cases you are able to return to normal activities immediately.
Who is a Candidate for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treatment?
If you are experiencing a chronic, dull and aching pain in your lower abdomen and back, you may have pelvic congestion syndrome, and may be a candidate for treatment. You are more likely to be a candidate if the pain increases following intercourse, during your menstrual periods, when standing, or when you are very tired, or during pregnancy. You are also more likely to have pelvic congestion syndrome if you have:
- Been pregnant two or more times
- Fullness of the veins in your leg
- Polycystic ovaries
- Hormonal dysfunction
Speak with your physician to confirm that your pelvic pain is a result of pelvic congestion syndrome. You should also discuss all of your treatment options, including the minimally invasive option, ovarian vein embolization.
Benefits and Risks
Treating your pelvic congestion syndrome with our minimally invasive procedure has many benefits. Aside from relieving the symptoms and pain associated with your condition, this procedure is minimally invasive, requires no general anesthesia, and no hospital stay. In addition, you are able to return to daily activities shortly after your procedure. During any procedure where the skin is penetrated there is a slight risk of infection, be sure to speak with your physician to learn all the benefits and risks.
How We Can Help You With Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treatment
At Azura Vascular Care, many of our physicians are specialists in the field of pelvic congestion syndrome treatment. Our interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons use minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat pelvic congestion syndrome and help relieve your painful symptoms quickly.
At Azura, we work every day to deliver far more than our patients expect. We bring our full range of medical capabilities and service excellence to every patient, every visit at each of our centers nationwide.
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