Varicose veins don't just affect your legs — they can develop in your abdomen and cause a condition called pelvic congestion syndrome. If you have this condition, board-certified vascular surgeon Jeffrey Hager, DO, FACOS, at Hager Advanced Vein Care, can help. At their locations in Manahawkin and Toms River, New Jersey, Dr. Hager and his team offer expert ovarian vein embolization treatment to relieve the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome. Call Hager Advanced Vein Care today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is a condition in which blood gathers in the veins inside your pelvis, causing abdominal discomfort and pain.
Blood should flow through the veins all around your body in a steady stream, back to your heart. To ensure this happens, there's a system of one-way valves along the veins that stop blood refluxing (going the wrong way).
If these valves are weak or damaged, they can't keep blood flowing as it should. Some blood then leaks back and pools, making the pelvic veins swell. This venous reflux is the same problem that's responsible for varicose veins.
Your risk of pelvic congestion syndrome increases with certain factors, which include:
Pelvic congestion syndrome most often affects women ages 20-50, although it doesn't always cause symptoms.
PCOS can cause a range of symptoms triggered by hormonal imbalances. Changes in the veins can result in pelvic congestion syndrome.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is more common in women who've had two or more pregnancies.
Excess weight puts a strain on all your veins, making you more prone to both varicose veins and pelvic congestion syndrome.
High levels of the female sex hormone estrogen can cause your pelvic veins to expand, which may lead to pelvic congestion syndrome.
It's not uncommon for pelvic congestion syndrome to go undiagnosed because when you lie down for a pelvic exam, the pressure on the pelvic veins eases off. Less pressure in the veins reduces the bulging, making the problem harder to spot.
If you have undiagnosed pelvic pain, it's worth consulting a vascular expert to see whether pelvic congestion syndrome could be the cause. The vascular team uses tests such as pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound, pelvic venography, or MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
Once the team confirms you have pelvic congestion syndrome, they can carry out an ovarian vein embolization (OVE). This is a minimally invasive procedure in which they insert a slim, flexible tube called a catheter into the affected vein via the large femoral vein in your thigh.
Using X-ray guidance, the vascular team delivers a substance that clots the blood in the vein and seals it off. Blood can no longer pool in your veins, relieving the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome.
Ovarian vein embolization performed as an outpatient procedure. You can resume normal activities within a few days.
Find out more by calling Hager Advanced Vein Care today or booking an appointment online.