Ovarian vein embolisation

Ovarian vein embolisation is a procedure to treat pelvic vein congestion.  Pelvic vein congestion is a painful condition resulting from the presence of varicose veins in the pelvis. 

The procedure blocks the main blood supply to the vein(s) reducing blood flow and relieving pain.

Before the procedure

Fasting: Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to your procedure time. 

Allergies: Please tell Intra staff at the time of booking if you have any food or medication allergies, or previous reactions to X-ray contrast (dye).

Diabetes: If you are diabetic, please tell Intra staff at the time of booking. You may need to discuss your insulin/diabetes medication with your doctor.

Anticoagulation (blood thinner): If you are taking any blood thinners (e.g Warfarin, Clexane, Pradaxa,  Rivaroxoban), please make this known to Intra staff at the time of booking.

Other usual medications: Please continue to take all regular medication unless otherwise advised by your doctor.

During the procedure

An ovarian vein embolisation is performed by an interventional radiologist. During the procedure you will be sedated but awake. Local anaesthetic will also be injected around the access site.

The area around the vein in your neck will be painted with an antiseptic solution, and a sterile drape will then be placed over your body, to ensure sterility is maintained. Local anaesthetic will be injected around the artery in your groin. This will sting for approximately 30 seconds, but after this, you should not feel any pain. If at any time you feel pain, or discomfort, please inform the doctor immediately, and more pain relief can be given via your IV line, as well as more local anaesthetic.

Using ultrasound guidance, the vein in the neck will be accessed, and a small hollow tube (sheath) will be inserted into the vein. Using contrast dye and fluoroscopy, a catheter will be directed down into the abnormal vein(s). Once in an appropriate position, the sclerosant, or other embolisation agent, is injected into the vein to block it over a period of minutes.

After the procedure

The sheath is removed and a small pressure dot is applied to the access site. You can sit up straight away.

The interventional radiologist will discuss the outcome of the procedure with you.

You will be able to eat and drink once your sedation has worn off.

You may be required to stay overnight in hospital. Once you are discharged home:

  • Someone must drive you home or accompany you in a taxi. Please arrange for accompanied transport in advance.
  • Due to the sedation or effects of the general anaesthetic, you may feel lethargic afterwards with reduced concentration. For this reason, for 24 hours after your procedure please:
    • Do not drive.
    • Do not drink alcohol.
    • Do not make any legal decisions or sign legal documents.
  • Do not do activity requiring strength, concentration, or full alertness for the rest of the day.

Prior to your discharge the ward staff will give you advice about resuming your normal activities, and any special aftercare instructions including medication.

What are the risks?

As with any procedure, there are potential risks involved. Your interventional radiologist will explain the procedure, discuss possible risks and answer any questions you may have. You will then be asked to sign the consent form. This will occur on the day of your procedure.