When we think about varicose veins, we typically think about the gnarled veins that appear in the legs. Without question, that is the most common area where varicose veins occur. The constant pressure put on the legs, through standing, walking and running, combined with the physical effort required to push blood up from the lower extremities causes valves in leg veins to fail. Subsequently, blood begins to pool in the affected veins, causing them to bulge up and creating unsightly ridges.
While that may be the path that most varicose vein stories take, it's far from the only one. In fact, varicose veins can happen anywhere on the body. For women, one of the most painful places that they can occur is in the stomach, where the enlarged veins can lead to a nearly debilitating condition known as pelvic congestion syndrome.
When varicose veins appear in the legs, they can come with unpleasant side effects, such as mild pain, swelling and skin discoloration. And while they can present some health risks, they are mainly a cosmetic issue. Unfortunately, that's not the case when they appear in the abdomen. Once the veins become enlarged in this area, they can put a great deal of pressure on the surrounding nerves in the abdomen and pelvis. On the mild side, this can cause bloating and irritation in the bladder, but in more extreme cases, it can make it incredibly painful to eat, walk, or even sit down.
As you can imagine, suffering through pelvic congestion syndrome can greatly diminish your quality of life, but there is an effective solution: a pelvic vein embolisation. During this procedure, a physician cuts a thin opening into the neck and the guides a small catheter through the vein and into the stomach, using ultrasound technology to track its progress. Once it reaches the area where the vein is enlarged, a tiny metal coil is deployed.
After the coil is inserted, the metal rings clump together, stopping the blood flow. Once blood stops moving through the affected veins, other veins will pick up the slack, and the enlarged one will gradually be reabsorbed into the body. Eventually, the intense pelvic pain disappears along with the varicose vein.
Even though pelvic congestion syndrome is relatively rare, it can be a debilitating condition. For women suffering from it, the idea of inserting metal coils into their veins may sound odd, but anything is better than living in constant pain.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!
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