A pelvic vein obstruction center treats congenital or acquired constrictions in the pelvic veins. Such constrictions or blockages can, for example, lead to painful swellings in the legs or venous ulcers. The treatment of pelvic veins is classed as part of vascular medicine - the specialist term is angiology. To be precise, this comes under the specialist field known as phlebology.

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Pelvic vein obstruction center - Further information

What is a pelvic vein obstruction center?

Phlebology addresses the recognition and treatment of vascular diseases, especially diseases of the veins. The pelvic veins transport venous blood, now low in oxygen content, away from the legs. They flow into other veins which in turn transport the blood into the right heart ventricle. If there is a constriction in one of the pelvic veins, a sufficient quantity of blood can no longer be transported. This then causes a build up of blood, which can trigger various complaints.

A pelvic vein obstruction center is staffed with a variety of different vascular experts. For example, these include angiologists. These are specialists in the field of vascular medicine. An angiologist is generally an internist, i.e. a doctor specializing in internal medicine who has had further training in the field of angiology.

Additionally, a pelvic vein obstruction center is also staffed with vascular surgeons. However, vascular surgery is not classed with vascular medicine but with surgery. Even so, vascular surgery is a separate field as regards training, so that a vascular surgeon is normally a medical practitioner with further training as a doctor specializing in vascular surgery. This does not need to be preceded by specialist training in general surgery.

Which disorders are treated in a pelvic vein obstruction center?

Specialists in a pelvic vein obstruction center deal with both acquired and congenital constrictions and blockages in the pelvic veins.

The commonest congenital variety is the May-Thurner syndrome. The affected pelvic vein is in an awkward location and is constricted by the pelvic bone.

However, constriction of the pelvic veins can also develop in connection with thrombosis. In thrombosis, a blood clot seals off the vein completely. Even if the blood clot can be removed or dissolved, an obstruction may still remain.

Acute constriction or acute blockage of the pelvic veins is also often the result of thrombosis. A blood clot develops primarily when there is a change in the composition of the blood. Long periods of sitting or lying are conditions favoring such a development.

The following symptoms may indicate a pelvic vein obstruction:

  • varicose veins
  • swellings in the legs
  • cramps in the legs
  • brown discoloration in the legs
  • rapid fatigue in the extremities
  • leg ulcers which won't heal

What diagnostic technique are applied?

The most important method of investigation in phlebology is vascular ultrasound, also known as Doppler duplex sonography. The ultrasound device makes the blood flow in the veins visible through the use of special colored images. In this technique, the doctor can not only recognize the course of the veins in tissue, but can also diagnose constrictions and calcifications and measure how far they have enlarged.

However, not all vascular areas can be imaged sufficiently well with ultrasound. In these cases, computed tomography or magnetic resonance tomography may be practical alternatives.

How are pelvic vein obstructions treated?

A vascular surgeon can often use minimally invasive surgery to eliminate a constriction or blockage in a pelvic vein. For this, the surgeon punctures the groin area and introduces a venous stent. A stent is a small tube which widens the vein and can stay in the body without any problem for life. Monitoring the intervention with X-ray, the surgeon passes the catheter with the stent through to the site of the constriction and releases it there.

Depending on the severity of the condition, the surgeon can also place several stets in succession to provide a long-term opening for a longer constriction of the pelvic vein.

The specialists in a pelvic vein obstruction center are the right people for you to consult if you are suffering from a venous blockage or constriction with conditions such as varicose veins or a feeling of heaviness in the legs.