Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand more about the treatment options.
1. Is Pelvic Vein Embolisation right for me?
Embolisation is intended to close off the pathologic veins so that blood can no longer flow backwards. This will participate to reduce pain and other symptoms by removing pressure of the building veins on surrounding pelvic organs and nerves. Your doctor is the best person to determine if Pelvic Vein Embolisation is the right procedure for you.
2. Who would be performing the Embolisation procedure?
The embolisation procedure will take place in the Angiography suite or hybrid theatre. It will be performed by a qualified Vascular Surgeon or Interventional Radiologist who will be assisted by nurses and a radiographer.
3. How long does the procedure take and what happens after the procedure?
The procedure will take in general between 60 - 90 minutes but may take longer depending on how many veins require treating. After the treatment, you will have to stay in the recovery area for about 30 minutes, whilst nurse’s complete routine observations of your blood pressure and pulse. When discharged home, you should arrange for someone to collect you.
4. How successful is the Pelvic Vein Embolisation procedure?
Pelvic vein embolization reduces the component of reflux associated with the abnormal pelvic veins and reduces the likelihood of recurrence of leg varicose veins, if present. Pelvic vein/ovarian vein embolisation has been shown to be a safe procedure with relief of the symptoms of pain, and improvement in the appearances of the varicose veins.2
5. Are there risks associated with the procedure?4,8
Pelvic vein embolisation is safe procedure but there are some complications that can arise.
A small haematoma around the puncture site may occur but this is quite normal. If it becomes a large bruise there may be a risk of it getting infected.
In rare circumstances one of the coils may dislodge and move to another location during the procedure or at a later date.
6. Are there any side effects?6,8
It is usual for patients to experience some pelvic cramps following the embolization for a few days, but these will gradually improve after the first 24 hours and can usually be controlled with pain relief medication.
7. Which field of specialist should I consult for seeking medical treatment with analgesics and venoactive medications?
Any medical professional with a knowledge of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome would be able to prescribe analgesic or venoactive medication if they feel that this is the best course of action to treat your condition”.
8. Would medical therapy be an option before and intervention.
Often medical therapy is offered before an intervention is considered. Your health care professional is the best person to decide if that is the right treatment for you.
9. If I need surgery, how and when would this be performed?
The type of surgery required will depend on your condition and general health. The surgery would be performed by a qualified medical specialist.
10. Would there be downtime to recover from surgery if this is required?
Yes, surgery does normally require some time for recovery.
11. Would I need a general anesthetic for surgery.
There are a handful of surgical procedures that require a general anesthetic and include open and/or laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery. Your medical specialist is the best person to determine if a general anesthetic is required.
12. I am very confused about which treatment is right for me. How do I decide between medical therapy, embolisation or surgery?
Your health care professional is the best person to decide which treatment is best for your specific condition. This will be based on the success of past treatment, your current symptoms and your general health.