Ovarian Vein Embolization at UPHS – Bell can alleviate chronic pelvic pain

ISHPEMING – Pelvic congestion syndrome is the second leading cause of chronic pelvic pain in women. It can cause deep pelvic pain when sitting or standing and can worsen throughout the day. Those are just some of the symptoms that many women with pelvic congestion syndrome attempt to find a solution for.

At UPHS – Bell, we offer Ovarian Vein Embolization, which is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome. The procedure seals off problematic veins, preventing them from enlarging with blood, allowing healthier veins to take over. After OVE, up to 95% of women report improvement in their symptoms.

OVE is performed by an interventional radiologist, a board-certified and fellowship-trained physician with expertise in vascular and venous disease. During the outpatient procedure, your physician makes a tiny incision in the groin or neck. Guided by real-time X-ray imaging, a catheter is directed to the faulty veins for treatment. Then, tiny vascular plugs or coils with a sclerosing agent are placed in the ovarian veins to seal off troublesome major veins. A foam sclerosing agent is used to block the smaller veins. The decompressed veins no longer cause pressure or pain.

Dr. Niksa Vlasic
Radiologist at UPHS – Bell

In addition to the relief of chronic pain, OVE also includes the following benefits:

  • No general anesthesia
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Preserves uterus
  • Less painful
  • Fewer complications
  • Excellent outcome

Pelvic congestion syndrome is related to enlarged pelvic veins. As a result of enlarged pelvic veins (either congenital or due to pregnancy) the normal blood flow from the ovaries to the heart reverses towards to ovaries making them congested and painful. Blood from the distended veins pools, causing the veins to bulge and push against nearby structures. This can result in pain and pressure in the uterus, ovaries, vulva and back.

These are other symptoms of chronic pelvic pain:

  • Deep pelvic pain when sitting or standing
  • Pelvic pain worsens throughout the day
  • Bulging veins on the vulva, buttocks or thighs
  • Painful/irregular menstrual cycles
  • Pelvic pain during/after intercourse
  • Irritable bladder
  • Lower abdominal and back pain

Many women with pelvic congestion syndrome spend years trying to get an answer to their pain. If you have any of these symptoms, you can ask for a referral from your doctor and call the UPHS – Bell Radiology department at 906.485.2632.

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