Vascular health does not start and end with the lower extremities; rather, a women’s pelvic region can be affected with normal aging and following one or more pregnancies. Specifically, uterine fibroids and pelvic congestion syndrome are among the most common vascular afflictions of women today.
Uterine Fibroid Management
Uterine fibroids — or non-cancerous tissue growths within the uterus — may grow in or around a woman’s uterus. Additionally, the symptoms a patient experiences as a result of fibroids may vary, but often involve:
- Pelvic pain
- Pelvic pressure
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Urinary incontinence
- And more
If not treated, fibroids typically continue growing larger, thereby increasing the pressure they exert on a woman’s body.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
A revolutionary and minimally-invasive treatment for uterine fibroids, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a leading treatment alternative to hysterectomy. With an overall patient satisfaction rate over 90%, UFE effectively cuts off blood flow to the fibroid, thereby depriving it of nourishment and causing it to shrink.
UFE requires no anesthesia, involves only a small incision, and can be completed in a comfortable outpatient setting. Most patients also find that they need no downtime following treatment.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Management
Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is another vascular condition that is caused by abnormally functioning gonadal veins, leading to dilated veins/varicosities around the ovaries and within the pelvis. The pelvic pain and pressure progress throughout the day and are more common after pregnancies.
Pelvic compression syndrome (May-Thurner Syndrome) is a pelvic vascular condition that develops due to compression of the main left pelvic draining vein, thereby causing redirection of blood flow across the pelvis. Patients experience symptoms of pelvic pain, pressure, vulvar and labial varicosities, and left lower extremity edema.
The treatments offered by a physician for these conditions may include sclerotherapy, embolization (plugging the poorly functioning vein), stenting of the main left pelvic vein, hormone therapy, surgery, and more.