Treatment for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome in Houston, TX
Chronic pelvic pain is a common problem among women that can stem from a number of different causes. One such cause is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, or PCS.
What Is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
If you’re experiencing chronic pain in your pelvic area, it can be due to an issue with your veins. Due to a number of different factors, the veins in a woman’s lower abdomen may not function as well as they should. When this happens, veins in the pelvis can enlarge and change shape, in a way that’s very similar to varicose veins. The chronic pelvic pain of PCS often occurs in women who have recently been pregnant, and it can worsen after every pregnancy that follows.
Symptoms of PCS
The most obvious symptom of PCS is pain in the pelvic region that lasts for more than a few months. This classifies the problem as chronic pelvic pain. In addition, you may experience the following:
- Dull pain in your lower back and abdomen, while standing or sitting.
- Irritable bowel and/or bladder.
- Bulging veins in the pelvic region.
- Increasing pain while standing, walking, and having sex.
- Increased pain during periods.
- The sudden urge to urinate at random times.
Although you may experience some or all of these additional symptoms, there’s a chance that chronic pelvic pain will be your only warning sign. Please schedule an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing any pain that could be related to PCS.
Causes and Diagnosis of PCS
If your doctor noticed symptoms of PCS, such as chronic pelvic pain, he or she will then do a number of tests to rule out any other causes. These tests can include urine tests, blood tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, CT scans, pelvic venography, and more, depending on your health history. Because pelvic pain is not always easy to diagnose, it’s important to go through these tests to confirm the diagnosis and get you on the path to recovery.
While the majority of women diagnosed are between the ages of 20-45, PCS can affect a woman of any age. There is no root cause of PCS, but many factors can increase your risk, including:
- Hormonal abnormalities
- Multiple previous pregnancies
- Weight gain
- Polycystic ovaries
Treatment of PCS at Texas Endovascular
If you are diagnosed with PCS, your vein specialist at Texas Endovascular will have an upfront discussion about your options. The most common PCS treatment option is ovarian vein embolization, which can help alleviate symptoms and pain.
Ovarian Vein Embolization for Chronic Pelvic Pain
Ovarian vein embolization is a minimally invasive treatment option that can manage or eliminate chronic pelvic pain caused by PCS. The procedure involves using imaging guidance and a catheter to close off the pelvic veins that are causing your pain. That way, they can’t enlarge and cause discomfort.
The catheter (a long, thin plastic tube) can be inserted with a small nick in your skin, much smaller than a typical surgical incision. Once the catheter reaches your troubled veins, your doctor will choose a special substance, called embolic material, to permanently close off damaged veins. The substance your doctor uses will depend on your specific cause of chronic pelvic pain.
What Happens During Ovarian Vein Embolization?
During the procedure, you may be sedated by IV. But most patients can avoid general anesthesia for ovarian vein embolization. After you are sedated, your interventional radiologist will insert your catheter and deposit the embolic material. You may then undergo an angiogram, to make sure the embolic material is in the proper place.
Finally, when your embolization is complete, your doctor will remove the catheter and apply pressure to the incision site, so you don’t have to worry about bleeding. In some cases, your doctor will close the small hole in your artery, so you can quickly stand up and walk around. Even if that happens, your stitches shouldn’t be visible on the skin.
The entire ovarian vein embolization procedure lasts about 30 minutes, but you should expect to be in bed for up to eight hours afterwards. Most women will go home within 24 hours of embolization, although sometimes you may need to stay longer. Still, within a week of your procedure, you should be back to your normal, active routine. And between one and three months after a successful ovarian vein embolization, you can expect your symptoms of chronic pelvic pain to be resolved.
Contact Texas Endovascular today at (713) 575-3686 to learn more about treatment options for chronic pelvic pain and PCS.