Gonadal Vein Embolization
GONADAL VEIN EMBOLIZATION Q & A
What Is Gonadal Vein Embolization?
Gonadal vein embolization (GVE) is a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). PCS is a condition believed to affect more than 30% of women in their childbearing years. Chronic pelvic pain is one of the main symptoms. Most women do not seek treatment, not only because PCS can be difficult to diagnose, but also because they do not realize treatment is available.
How Is PCS Diagnosed?
PCS can be difficult to diagnose during a routine pelvic exam. Since pelvic exams are performed with the patient lying down, there is not as much pressure on the ovarian veins, and any bulging will not be as noticeable. In addition, pain from PCS is often mistaken for menstrual pain. Many women can spend years trying to get answers.
Do Patients Need Treatment for PCS?
Yes. Treatment with gonadal vein embolization will alleviate the pain and other symptoms associated with pelvic congestion syndrome.
How Is Gonadal Vein Embolization Performed?
Patients will be under local anesthesia or sedation. After making a tiny incision in the skin, physicians insert a catheter or tube. Using x-ray guidance, the catheter is moved to the problem pelvic vein and delivers a coil or foam sclerosant to block the vein. Blood is then redirected to other nearby pathways for flow.
The procedure is repeated for each abnormal vein. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.
Gonadal vein embolization is covered by most private insurance providers as well as Medicare. Prior to your procedure our team will seek authorization from your insurance company.
What to Expect from PCS Treatment with Gonadal Vein Embolization?
There are many benefits to gonadal vein embolization. First, there is little pain and scarring, as the incision is only about the size of a grain of rice. Second, because it is a minimally invasive procedure there is no hospital stay and no general anesthesia. Patients can go home the same day after a short recovery period. In addition, recovery time is less than traditional surgery, so patients return to regular routines in a few days. Finally, the renewed blood flow will alleviate painful symptoms without risks of surgery.