Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a common medical condition that affects women of reproductive age, caused by the enlargement of veins in the pelvis, which leads to increased pressure. PCS can result in a variety of symptoms, such as pelvic pain, bloating, lower back pain, leg swelling, and fatigue. In some cases, PCS can even lead to infertility or complications during pregnancy.
The good news is that there are treatment options available for those affected by this condition. In this blog post, we will discuss what PCS is and how interventional radiology can be used to treat this condition.
Causes of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is a disorder characterized by chronic, deep, and gradually increasing pain in the pelvis caused by the enlargement and failure of gonadal veins. These swollen veins fail due to malfunctioning valves that regulate blood flow direction and may be triggered by multiple pregnancies, anatomic abnormalities such as May-Thurner Syndrome, or genetics. When you are upright and the vein valves don’t function correctly, blood pools in the pelvic region resulting in PCS symptoms which often become more severe as the day progresses.
Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
The most commonly reported symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) in women include:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Pain that worsens with prolonged standing or sitting
- Pain that worsens during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Heavy, dragging sensation in the pelvis
- Lower abdominal, back, and thigh pain
- Feeling a sudden need to urinate
- Pain before or during a menstrual cycle
It is important to note that this condition can be difficult to diagnose, especially since many of the aforementioned symptoms can overlap with other medical conditions, such as uterine fibroids. Additionally, the symptoms of PCS can wax and wane over time, making it difficult for a doctor to assess if a patient is suffering from this specific problem. This is why it is essential to seek medical advice if you experience any pelvic pain or discomfort in order to get an accurate diagnosis.
Interventional Radiology and Its Role in the Treatment of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Interventional radiology can play a powerful role in the treatment of PCS by offering minimally invasive treatment options that can be done on an outpatient basis. But in order to fully understand why this method is so superior to traditional treatments for PCS, we must first understand what interventional radiology is. Let’s take a closer look.
Overview of Interventional Radiology
Interventional radiology is a medical specialty that uses imaging guidance such as radiography, ultrasound, and CT in order to perform minimally invasive procedures. It can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases without the need for traditional surgery. In the case of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, interventional radiology is often used to diagnose and treat the condition by using vascular interventions such as embolization to block off the enlarged veins that are causing the symptoms.
How Interventional Radiology Is Used to Treat Pelvic Congestion Syndrome at ECCO Medical
Once diagnosed, interventional radiologists can use various treatments to reduce symptoms associated with PCS. The most common treatment used here at ECCO Medical is called Ovarian Vein Embolization (OVE), which involves inserting a catheter into a vein in the groin area and guiding it to the pelvic region. Once there, small metallic coils are injected into the affected veins to block them off and reduce swelling. This procedure can be done under mild sedation and typically takes less than two hours.
Benefits of Using Interventional Radiology for Treating PSC
Interventional radiology offers several advantages for the treatment of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. This medical specialty is less risky and more cost-effective than traditional surgical options. Additionally, because this type of procedure is done on an outpatient basis, patients can often return home the same day with minimal recovery time.
The use of interventional radiology also reduces the need for medications that may have unpleasant side effects or be contraindicated in certain cases. Furthermore, the procedures are highly precise and targeted, meaning that only affected veins are treated and not healthy tissue. The result is improved symptoms with fewer long-term risks or complications.
Overall, using interventional radiology to diagnose and treat PCS has many benefits for both patients and healthcare providers alike. It is a safe, effective solution that can help reduce pain and improve the overall quality of life for those suffering from PCS.
Learn more about Pelvic Congestion Syndrome and available treatment options here.