Pelvic Vein Embolization

  • Coil

Pelvic vein embolization is a minimally invasive technique that is used to treat the faulty veins (the ovarian veins and some branches of the internal iliac veins) causing pelvic congestion syndrome, vulval and vaginal varicose veins.

What is Pelvic Vein Embolization ?

The veins which need to be treated are identified by an imaging scan (ultrasound, MRI or CT) which is carried out on a separate occasion before the procedure.


The Pelvic Vein Embolization is performed as day case procedure under local anaesthetic and conscious sedation. First, using ultrasound guidance, a small tube (catheter) is introduced into a vein in the side of the neck, under low dose X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) the catheter is passed to veins coming from the pelvis. Once inside these veins fine metal coils are deployed to block these veins. Blocking the faulty veins from the pelvis prevents the back-flow of blood in these veins that causes the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome and vulval/vaginal varicose veins.

Are there any risks I should be aware of?

You may experience some discomfort in the pelvis after the procedure similar to period pain which is easily controlled with oral pain killers. There is a very low risk of infection and some minor bruising on the side of the neck where the catheter enters the vein. A recognised complication is coil migration, this is extremely rare and is when one of the small coil deployed in the pelvis travels to another part of the body, usually the lung. If this does occur, the catheter is repositioned to where the coil has migrated and it is re-captured and removed from the body.

What is it used for?

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