Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
An estimated one-third of women experience chronic pelvic pain during their lifetime, and one common cause is ovarian vein or pelvic varices. These abnormally dilated blood vessels are the counterparts of varicose veins, but they are located within the pelvis and not visible during external examinations, so they may be easily overlooked.
In some cases, pelvic pain can be caused by May-Thurner Syndrome. In this condition the large vein in the pelvis is compressed by the adjacent artery causing pelvic pain and in some cases leg swelling
Pelvic Congestion Explained
More about the Process and Procedure
Diagnosis of the cause of pelvic congestion syndrome can be tricky, and may involve the use of ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or pelvic venography to locate the abnormal veins. If these swollen blood vessels are found to be the cause of chronic pelvic pain, the resulting pelvic venous congestion syndrome can be treated via a non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure to embolize the pelvic varices by blocking blood flow to them.
During the procedure, a catheter is introduced by an interventional radiologist into a vein either at your groin or neck. It is then guided using fluoroscopy to the precise location of the problem. Contrast dye may be injected to make it easier to see the varices to be treated. An embolizing agent is then injected through the catheter to close the abnormal veins while not affecting normal tissue. These agents can include coils to completely block large blood vessels, liquid sclerosing agents to cause vessels to collapse, or liquid glues to block swollen vessels.