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Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Pelvic congestion syndrome is a condition associated with abnormally dilated pelvic veins in females. The dilated veins may result in chronic pelvic pain. Treatment typically involves blocking the blood supply to the dilated veins and causing them to shrink in size.

How Should I Prepare?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your procedure. You may take your medications as directed. Speak to your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dosing. Prior to your procedure, you should make sure all medications and allergies are updated. If you are on a blood thinner you may be requested to stop that medication for a period of time

How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure will be performed by an Interventional Radiologist, who is a physician with specific training in image-guided procedures. The procedure will be performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray). Intravenous medications may be given to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is called conscious sedation.

Upon arrival, an IV will be placed and blood work checked. Your skin will be cleaned with sterilizing solution and numbing medicine injected. A catheter (small tube) will be placed into a vein at either the base of the neck or the groin, and x-ray dye will be injected to take pictures of the blood vessels in the pelvis.

The catheter will then be moved towards the dilated vessels. The abnormal dilated veins will then be blocked (embolized) with small metal coils/plugs and/or a liquid sclerosing agent. Generally, the procedure will take 1-2 hours.

What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
Following the procedure, the majority of patients are discharged home after a few hours. Prescriptions for medications for home use will be supplied should you develop further symptoms. Follow-up in our clinic will be scheduled.

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Gavin P. Slethaug, MD

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