female symbol - pelvic congestion syndrome

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Pelvic congestion syndrome in women is a result of leaky veins, or reflux, in the deep pelvis. This presents as pelvic heaviness and pain that is worse at the end of the day. Embolization, or blockage, of these veins offers a minimally invasive approach to curing this nagging issue.

Doctor writing word PELVIC PAIN Medical concept on white background

About Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagram
Ovarian Vein Embolization Coils in Place
  • Dull, aching non-cyclic pelvic pain lasting greater than 6 months, worse with standing or activity
  • Pain with sexual intercourse
  • Urinary frequency or urgency
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Varicose veins around the genitals/buttocks/thigh

Risk Factors

  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Prolonged standing
  • Clinical symptoms and exclusion of other common causes of chronic pelvic pain such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, adenomyosis, etc.
  • Ovarian point or cervical motion tenderness on physical exam
  • Imaging with ultrasound can be helpful in aiding diagnosis

Ovarian Vein Embolization

During the procedure, a small catheter is advanced from a vein in the neck or leg to the abnormal pelvic veins under x-ray guidance. Under imaging guidance, the abnormal veins are occluded with small coil plugs. This prevents the blood in the veins from refluxing into the pelvis in the wrong direction.

Advantages of Ovarian Vein Embolization

  • Minimally invasive procedure performed as an outpatient under IV sedation
  • Extremely high technical success rate with very low risk profile
  • Symptom relief has been reported in over 80% of women who have chronic pelvic pain due to pelvic congestion syndrome

You can have this procedure at any of our three interventional radiology locations.

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