Ovarian Vein Embolization
a minimally invasive treatment option for pelvic congestion syndrome
or call us at 817.321.0951
What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, and what causes it?
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a painful condition caused by enlarged varicose veins within the pelvis. It can result in chronic, dull pain, which becomes more intense when standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time. PCS is largely misunderstood and under-diagnosed within the medical community, and its symptoms are often confused with other conditions.
It is thought that pelvic congestion is the result of pregnancy and/or estrogen, which is known to dilate blood vessels. The valves within the pelvic veins weaken and do not close properly, which causes blood to flow backward into the vein and pool there, making them enlarged and causing pressure.
Symptoms of PCS include:
• Noticeable bulging veins in the pelvis
• Painful or abnormal menstrual cycles
• Pain during or after intercourse
• Abdominal bloating or cramping
• Lower back pain
What are treatment options for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Traditionally, women with a more mild case of PCS may be treated with hormonal medications typically prescribed by their gynecologist. These medications can reduce blood flow within the pelvic veins. However, if medications are not effective, the gynecologic surgical approach is called venous litigation. This is a complex procedure that can result in scarring and the possibility of varicose veins returning.
That being said, a newer, minimally invasive treatment option called ovarian vein embolization is growing in popularity.
What is Ovarian Vein Embolization?
Ovarian Vein Embolization (OVE) is performed by an interventional radiologist using imaging guidance and a special catheter to seal off the faulty veins from the inside. The catheter is guided through the body into the blood vessels within the pelvis. Small metal coils are then inserted to clot the blood and seal the faulty vein. Sometimes, for smaller veins, a special foam agent is injected into the vein to shrink it.
OVE is a minimally invasive treatment option that is safe and effective. It is performed in an outpatient setting and provides relief for about 80% of those who undergo it. No hospital stay is required, and you can return to normal activities within 24 hours.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for OVE?
Ovarian Vein Embolization is recommended for patients who:
• Have symptomatic Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
• Diagnostic imaging has confirmed the presence of pelvic varicose veins
• Medication (hormone therapy) has not been effective at treating PCS
• Other conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, fibroids, and other causes of pain have been ruled out
• Do not wish to have surgery
If you believe you are a candidate for OVE, contact us by clicking on the Request a Consultation below or giving us a call at 817.321.0951. We would love to connect with you and discuss how we might be able to care for you.