Varicose veins are a common occurrence in both men and women that can be linked to more serious medical issues such as blood clots. On a cosmetic level, varicose veins show up prominently under the skin and for many, cause a displeasing aesthetic effect. While it’s extremely common to see varicose veins appear on the legs and chest, it is also possible for these problematic veins to impact the pelvic area. When this happens, the condition is referred to as Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. A problematic condition for women in particular, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is associated with a number of painful side effects which can fluctuate between mild discomfort to severe levels pain.
Medical experts point at a number of causes leading to the development of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. In the majority of cases, patients already suffering from conditions linked to varicose veins are more prone to developing issues with pelvic vessels as well. The abdomen consists of a large network of veins moving blood both towards and away from this region of the body. The condition often occurs when the left renal vein becomes suddenly compressed by both the superior mesenteric artery as well as the aorta. This particular scenario may be referred to as Nutcracker Syndrome. Similarly, patients will begin to experience discomfort associated with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Signs when the iliac vein becomes compressed within the abdomen. Medical experts often refer to this as May-Thurner compression. Slightly different yet presenting with similar symptoms is Pelvic Venous Congestion. Patients who develop this condition suffer from non-saphenous varicose veins that develop both in and around the legs and thighs.
Many women who develop Pelvic Congestion Syndrome begin to experience symptoms during pregnancy however, pain specific to varicose veins can be misread as being linked to common pregnancy pains. It is often after giving birth that women who have developed Pelvic congestion syndrome signs begin to recognize signs as being unrelated to childbirth or pregnancy. Chronic pain linked to Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is often provoked by extended periods of walking or sitting. Additionally, women who suffer from Pelvic Congestion Syndrome often report painful symptoms experienced during and after intercourse. Chronic pain often interferes with the routine of daily life and is the primary reason patients suffering from this condition seek medical treatment.
A simple method to reducing the effects of chronic pain associated with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is dedicating time to reclining horizontally each day. This position encourages blood to flow away from affected veins in the pelvic region and out towards other areas of the body. Relieving the pressure of blood flow will help alleviate painful symptoms. However, it’s important to note that this strategy provides temporary relief at best. Long-term solutions require a more permanent approach to treatment. Some physicians will recommend patients begin taking hormonal medications on a regular basis. These medications work to temper blood flow to the pelvic region and ultimately ease congestion of the varicose veins which lead to painful symptoms. While some patients will find this medication effective, most physicians will recommend a non-surgical procedure to tackle the problem at the source. Varicose embolization is an option that many patients elect for both its safe and highly effective results. Using a small catheter, a physician will follow ultrasound guidance towards the affected veins and permanently seal the vein shut. This procedure provides long-lasting results that can immediately reduce the effects of painful symptoms.
Varicose embolization provides highly successful results and maintains a high safety rating as it can be performed as an out-patient procedure in the comfort of the physician’s office. At most, local anesthetic is applied to the area of insertion to diminish any discomfort on the part of the patient. This procedure does not require the use of general anesthesia and as a result, eliminates all of the associated risks linked to lengthy hospital stays. In general, patients are able to walk out of the office unassisted once the procedure has been completed and will resume normal activities within a day. The small diameter of the catheter used during this procedure means patients do not have to deal with the hassle of having stitches placed or removed.
Dr. Wright and his team at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center of St. Louis believe in a comprehensive approach to patient care. Prospective patients interested in discussing treatment options related to Pelvic Congestion Syndrome will want to call and set up an initial consultation. This provides an opportunity to discuss the patient’s unique medical profile, specifics surrounding treatment options as well as financial plans for covering the cost of care. Patients should be sure to check with their insurance providers prior to having a procedure done as cosmetic alterations linked to underlying medical conditions may be covered.