Pelvic Vein Disease

Pelvic vein disease is a condition in which varicose veins develop in the veins of the pelvis. Like varicose veins in the legs, pelvic vein disease (also called pelvic congestion syndrome) results from impairment of the valves in the veins and engorgement of the blood vessels. Instead of flowing properly to the heart, blood pools in the pelvic veins and causes symptoms such as dull pain, heaviness, and pressure.

Pelvic vein disease may also occur after patients have had blood clots (DVT) in the pelvic veins. Due to the blood clots the veins become narrowed and scarred. This causes "backup" of blood in the leg veins on the affected side. Patients may experience swelling and pain in the affected leg.

Risk Factors for Pelvic Vein Disease

Pelvic vein disease is most common in women aged 20-45, and women who have had multiple pregnancies. It is often associated with weight gain (as occurs in pregnancy). A history of blood clots is another risk factor.

Diagnosing Pelvic Vein Disease

To rule out other conditions or confirm a diagnosis of pelvic vein disease, physicians at the center may perform tests including:

  • Ultrasound
  • Venogram
  • CT scan
  • MRI

Treating Pelvic Vein Disease: Angioplasty and Stenting

A range of treatments are available for the treatment of pelvic vein disease, including medications and minimally invasive procedures. These procedures may involve a balloon to widen a narrowed area and placement of a stent to keep this affected area open. In cases of pelvic congestion or leakage, abnormal veins can be sealed shut with small coils or glue to relieve symptoms.