Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) also known as ovarian vein reflux, is a chronic condition that causes acute pain in a patient’s lower abdomen. When the veins in the pelvic area begin to function improperly, blood can start to build up. When blood struggles to flow freely through veins, they can begin to enlarge and become varicose veins. Varicose veins have weakened valves, and can cause blood to flow backwards and pool. This can lead to the development of pelvic congestion syndrome.
PCS most often affects women between the ages of 20 to 50 who have previously experienced pregnancy. The condition is relatively common, and approximately 15 percent of women in the United States will experience PCS in their lifetime.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome can be hard to diagnose, as it can be difficult to differentiate between it, and other types of pelvic pain. Many different organ systems overlap within the pelvis: this includes the digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.This means a pain originating in any one of these systems could be the problem. Psychological disorders like depression have also been linked to pelvic pain. Confirmed cases of PCS are more likely in women who have been pregnant more than once, and suffer from polycystic ovaries and hormonal dysfunction.
To test for PCS, a doctor will first have to conduct tests on these organ systems to rule out other conditions. This will include blood tests to check for STI’s, anemia and pregnancy; urine tests to ensure your urinary system is not the issue; a pelvic ultrasound; a CT scan or MRI; and x rays of the pelvic veins.
After that, the definitive way to confirm PCS is a diagnostic test called Pelvic Venography. This test will let a patient know if they have the varicose veins in the pelvic area that are associated with pelvic congestion syndrome.
The primary symptom of PCS is long term pelvic pain. If a pain in the lower abdomen lasts more than 6 months, it’s very possible it could be PCS. The pain will most likely come during or after pregnancy, and become worse during any subsequent pregnancies.
The type of pain with PCS can vary, with some patients reporting a dull ache. Others have said the pain is more sharp, or focused on one particular side of the pelvis. The pain can worsen depending on certain actions, such as:
Other less common symptoms include the urge to urinate, enlarged veins on the thighs, buttocks, or genitals, and pain specifically before or during periods. Patients experiencing painful symptoms of PCS should begin to consider their treatment options.
Performed by an interventional radiologist, this vascular procedure involves the closure of malfunctioning veins within the pelvis to prevent further enlargement.
Ovarian Vein Embolization is an effective treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome. An OVE procedure can drastically relieve the pain caused by faulty pelvic veins, and make sure they are no longer enlarged with excess blood.
During the procedure, an interventional radiologist makes a very small puncture in the skin of the patient’s upper leg, and inserts a catheter into the femoral vein. A dye is used to track the path of the veins, this is called a venogram. The doctor can then move the catheter to the faulty blood vessel.
From there, embolic agents travel through the catheter, blocking the blood vessels supplying the varicose veins. This stops the improper flow and the vein will begin to shrink, ultimately helping to relieve symptoms associated with PCS.
An OVE procedure is best suited for patients who are experiencing symptoms or confirmed to suffer from Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, and want a less invasive treatment option. These tend to be women in the 20-50 year old age range.
Ovarian Vein Embolization is also best for patients who have not had success with other treatments, but don’t wish to have a major surgery like a hysterectomy.
Minimally invasive procedures like OVE have a far shorter recovery time, and don’t leave the scars associated with invasive surgery. It is a same day procedure, meaning your treatment will be complete that day and you will be able to recover in the comfort of your own home.
OVE can help patients relieve the painful symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome, without the need for major surgery. While a hysterectomy can help with the PCS, it carries a significantly higher risk of complications. Ovarian Vein Embolization can be just as effective, without the risks associated with a major surgery.
It’s important to take the time to choose the right vascular team to perform your OVE procedure. You need well-trained professionals, who have access to the absolute best in state-of-the-art medical technology.
If you want the top medical professionals for your OVE procedure, then your best option is ProVas Labs.
At ProVas Labs, we specialize in minimally invasive vascular treatments. We focus on procedures with minimal recovery time, and our trained specialists are there to help you every step of the way.
A hysterectomy is not your only option. An OVE treatment can help you get relief from pelvic congestion syndrome without the risk and discomfort of an invasive procedure. We understand you have questions about this treatment, and we are ready to answer them.
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