Ovarian vein embolization

Non-surgical treatment of pelvic congestion sydrome. Ovarian vein embolization

What is pelvic congestion syndrome?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is a condition where there is chronic pelvic pain due to enlarged and/or varicose veins in the pelvis. These veins are similar to varicose veins that occur in the legs, but they are located in the pelvic region.

What causes pelvic congestion syndrome?

The exact cause of PCS is not known, but it is believed to be related to the presence of dilated veins in the pelvis, which can cause pain and discomfort.

What are the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome?

The most common symptom of PCS is chronic pelvic pain, which is usually described as a dull ache or pressure in the lower abdomen and pelvis. Other symptoms can include pain during intercourse, painful periods, and lower back pain.

How is pelvic congestion syndrome diagnosed?

PCS is usually diagnosed using imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI. These tests can show the presence of enlarged veins in the pelvis.

What are the treatment options for pelvic congestion syndrome?

The treatment options for PCS include medication to relieve pain, compression stockings to improve blood flow, and embolization. Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that involves blocking the affected veins using tiny coils or other materials.

How effective is embolization for treating pelvic congestion syndrome?

Embolization is a highly effective treatment for PCS, with success rates of over 90%. It is minimally invasive and has a short recovery time compared to other surgical options.

What is the recovery time after embolization for pelvic congestion syndrome?

The recovery time after embolization varies from person to person, but most people can resume their normal activities within a few days to a week. It is recommended to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for a few weeks after the procedure.

Is embolization for pelvic congestion syndrome safe?

Embolization is a safe procedure, but as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved. These risks can include bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding tissue. However, these risks are rare and the benefits of the procedure usually outweigh the risks.

Can pelvic congestion syndrome come back after embolization?

In some cases, the symptoms of PCS can return after embolization. This is because the veins can re-open or new veins can form over time. However, repeat embolization procedures can be performed if necessary.

Can pregnancy cause pelvic congestion syndrome?

Pregnancy can increase the risk of developing PCS due to the increased pressure on the veins in the pelvis. However, the condition can occur in women who have never been pregnant as well.

Can pelvic congestion syndrome affect fertility?

Pelvic congestion syndrome can potentially affect fertility, as the accumulation of blood in the pelvic veins can lead to inflammation and damage to the ovaries or other reproductive organs. However, not all women with pelvic congestion syndrome experience fertility problems.

What lifestyle changes can help manage pelvic congestion syndrome?

Certain lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing can help manage the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome. Additionally, wearing compression stockings or avoiding tight clothing can help alleviate discomfort.

Can pelvic congestion syndrome be treated with medication?

Medication can be used to manage the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome, such as pain and discomfort. However, medication alone is not a curative treatment for the condition.

What kind of doctor should I see for pelvic congestion syndrome?

It is recommended that you see a gynecologist and an interventional radiologist who have experience with pelvic congestion syndrome for diagnosis and treatment.

Is surgery the only treatment option for pelvic congestion syndrome?

Surgery is not always necessary for pelvic congestion syndrome. Non-surgical treatments, such as embolization, can be effective in treating the condition.

How long does it take to recover after pelvic congestion syndrome treatment?

Recovery time can vary depending on the type of treatment received. Embolization typically requires less recovery time than surgical treatments. It is recommended to follow your doctor's post-treatment instructions for optimal recovery.

Can pelvic congestion syndrome be prevented?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent pelvic congestion syndrome. However, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting can help reduce the risk of developing the condition.

What is ovarian vein embolization (OVE)?

Ovarian vein embolization (OVE) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) by blocking or occluding abnormal blood flow in the ovarian veins.

How is ovarian vein embolization performed?

 Ovarian vein embolization is typically performed under local anesthesia and sedation. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into the femoral vein in the groin and guided up to the affected ovarian vein using X-ray guidance. Tiny metal coils or other embolic agents are then injected into the vein to block blood flow and reduce symptoms.

Is OVE a painful procedure?

Most patients do not experience significant pain during or after the OVE procedure. Some mild discomfort and bruising at the site of the catheter insertion is normal, but this usually resolves within a few days.

How effective is OVE in treating PCS?

Ovarian vein embolization has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for PCS, with success rates of over 90%. Patients typically experience significant improvement in symptoms within a few days to weeks after the procedure.

Are there any risks or complications associated with OVE?

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks and potential complications associated with ovarian vein embolization. These can include bleeding, infection, allergic reactions to contrast dye or embolic agents, damage to nearby blood vessels or organs, and recurrence of symptoms. However, serious complications are rare and the procedure is generally considered safe.

How long does it take to recover after OVE?

Recovery time after ovarian vein embolization is relatively short, with most patients able to return to normal activities within a week or two. Some mild discomfort and bruising may be experienced at the catheter insertion site for a few days, but this typically resolves quickly.

Will OVE affect my fertility?

Ovarian vein embolization is not expected to affect fertility in most patients, as the ovaries are supplied by multiple blood vessels and blocking one or more ovarian veins is unlikely to cause significant damage or dysfunction. However, it is possible that some women may experience a temporary decrease in ovarian function or menstrual irregularities after the procedure, so it is important to discuss potential risks and benefits with your doctor beforehand.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on the number of veins being treated and their location.

What is the recovery process like?

Patients can usually go home the same day as the procedure and can resume normal activities within a few days. However, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least a week. Mild discomfort and bruising at the site of the catheter insertion are common, but can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

How effective is ovarian vein embolization in treating pelvic pain and other symptoms?

Ovarian vein embolization has been shown to be an effective treatment for pelvic pain and other symptoms caused by pelvic congestion syndrome or ovarian varices. Studies have reported significant improvement in symptoms in up to 80% of patients who undergo the procedure. However, success rates may vary depending on the individual case.