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What Are Pelvic Varicose Veins?

Patients with pelvic varicose veins, or pelvic congestion syndrome, may be asymptomatic. They may also experience troubling symptoms, primarily pain in the region. Women suffer more frequently from pelvic varicose veins, but men are also susceptible to the problem. Pelvic varicose veins may be invisible, particularly when the patient is lying down.

Causes Of Pelvic Varicose Veins

Pelvic varicose veins form when vein walls weaken, known as venous insufficiency, and when valves within the vein deteriorate and allow blood to flow backward, known as venous reflux.


Risk factors for pelvic varicose veins include:

  • Family history of the disorder

  • Repeated pregnancies

  • Obesity

  • Sedentary lifestyle

What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Research has shown that as many as a third of all women suffer pelvic pain during their lifetime. When pelvic congestion syndrome is the cause of this pain, the patient may experience it as dull and aching, but may occasionally present as more acute. Such pain tends to be worse at the end of the day and long periods of standing may exacerbate it. Pain may be worse just before a menstrual period or during or after sexual intercourse.


Women with this disorder may also experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Enlarged uterus

  • Thicker endometrium

  • Ovarian changes

  • Stress incontinence

  • Back pain

  • Vaginal discharge

  • Severe menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Mood swings

  • Fatigue

Diagnosis Of Pelvic Varicose Veins

There are other causes of pelvic pain than varicose veins in the region. These causes, such as ovarian cancer, must be ruled out before a definitive diagnosis of pelvic congestion syndrome can be made. Since varicose veins in the pelvic region are not always visible even on sophisticated imaging devices, a Doppler ultrasound may be used. The most effective diagnostic test for pelvic varicose veins is usually a CT venogram using contrast dye. The dye is used so that the affected veins can be better visualized on X-ray.

Pelvic Varicose Veins Treatment

If venography makes it clear that varicose veins exist in the pelvic region, we remove them a process called embolization.

  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy
    Some varicose veins that sit near the surface of the skin are too large to treat with sclerotherapy. Ambulatory phlebectomy may be the ideal treatment for such veins. This minimally-invasive procedure is also sometimes called micro phlebectomy. Treatment is performed through small incisions that heal nicely without the need for stitches. Learn More..
  • Cutaneous Laser Therapy
    Cutaneous laser therapy, or simply laser therapy, is a common treatment for spider veins, the small clusters of web-like vein structures that lie just beneath the surface of the skin. In our practice, we often recommend cutaneous laser therapy for the treatment of spider veins in the lower legs or around the ankles. This treatment is also suitable for facial spider veins. Facial skin is more delicate, and the laser is gentle enough to destroy veins without damaging surrounding tissue. The laser quickly and efficiently closes off these veins so the body can absorb them and send blood elsewhere. Learn More..
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
    A blood clot in a deep vein can be painful and concerning. Also referred to simply as DVT, deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that sits far beneath the skin’s surface. This condition usually develops in the lower extremities, but could occur anywhere in the body. The concern regarding deep vein thrombosis is that the blood clot will dislodge from the peripheral vein and move to the lung, resulting in pulmonary embolism and the need for emergency care. Treatment for deep vein thrombosis focuses on the prevention of pulmonary embolism and additional blood clots. We also want to prevent the clot from getting bigger. DVT treatment options include blood-thinning medication, compression stockings, and surgery. A specialist develops the most appropriate treatment protocol based on each patient’s individual circumstances. Learn More..
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation Surgery (ELAS)
    Endovenous Laser Ablation Surgery is a minimally-invasive outpatient treatment that closes a problem vein in which valves no longer push blood forward. It is referred to as a surgical procedure but does not require anesthesia or sedation. Patients experience minimal discomfort during the ultrasound-guided procedure and are able to drive themselves home after their appointment. Learn More..
  • Sclerotherapy
    One of the most well-known vein treatments, sclerotherapy has achieved outstanding results for many years. It is known as one of the most effective treatments for varicose veins in the feet and hands. The minimally-invasive procedure can also successfully treat some leg veins. Treatment takes less than an hour in most cases and involves a number of injections into the problematic vein. Over time, the vein closes and circulation is rerouted to a healthy vein. Learn More..
  • Sclerotherapy For Leg Veins
    Leg veins are not only cosmetically unpleasant but can also cause several uncomfortable symptoms. Sclerotherapy, which is a form of injection therapy, does not require incisions or anesthetic. The procedure is performed in the office and typically takes no more than half an hour. Patients can resume normal activities right away with few side effects. Learn More..
  • Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
    Problem veins are not always immediately noticeable. They don’t all exist in superficial tissue. That’s why we utilize ultrasound imaging to help guide sclerotherapy procedures when necessary. Ultrasound is painless imaging that shows the location of the dysfunctional vein so the doctor has an accurate map of the treatment area. Used discerningly, ultrasound guidance takes the guesswork out of vein treatments so our patients achieve the best outcomes via brief, effective sessions. Learn More..
  • Home Treatment
    When varicose veins are mild, the patient may successfully treat them at home. Home treatment may include getting plenty of exercise, avoiding long periods of sitting or standing and elevating the legs when at rest.
  • Compression Stockings
    The compression of these garments may provide symptomatic relief and slow disease progression. Compression stockings alone, however, will not remove varicose veins.
  • Sclerotherapy
    In this procedure, a liquid called a sclerosant is injected into the affected vein to cause it to close and stop carrying blood. Sclerotherapy does not require an anesthetic and the doctor can perform it in about one hour with little or no discomfort.
  • Surgical Stripping Of Veins
    Surgical stripping has been the traditional varicose vein treatment. It is usually performed under general or spinal anesthesia in the hospital. Incisions are made along the course of the vein and the vein is stripped out in pieces. The surgical incisions are closed by stitches. Recovery time after surgical stripping may be 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation Surgery (ELAS)
    During ELAS a laser fiber is threaded along the course of the diseased vein and the fiber is pulled out slowly, resulting in the closure of the vein. This is an outpatient procedure with topical or local anesthesia and takes about 45 minutes with minimal downtime. Immediately after the procedure, the patient can drive home, return to work, and resume a normal routine.
  • Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation
    During radiofrequency ablation, a small incision is made through which a catheter is inserted into the targeted vein. Once precisely placed, the catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to the wall of the vein, causing the vein to collapse and seal so that blood can no longer travel through it. After the radiofrequency procedure, patients may experience mild bruising and swelling in the treated area, but are usually able to return to your regular activities shortly after treatment.
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