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Pelvic vein incompetence: clinical perspectives

Authors Riding DM, Hansrani V, McCollum C

Received 19 July 2017

Accepted for publication 11 October 2017

Published 27 November 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 439—447

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S132827

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Takashi Kajiya


David M Riding,1 Vivak Hansrani,2 Charles McCollum1

1Academic Surgery Unit, University of Manchester, 2Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK

Abstract: Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) affects 24% of premenopausal women, accounts for 20%–30% of UK gynecology outpatient appointments, and has an annual pan-European economic cost of €3.8 billion. Despite extensive investigation, often including laparoscopy, up to 55% of women do not receive a diagnosis and endure persistent symptoms. In these patients, clinical management focuses on symptom control rather than treatment. It is possible that pelvic vein incompetence (PVI) is a cause of CPP, although the quality of studies investigating an association is generally low. PVI may develop during and after pregnancy, as uterine blood flow increases significantly, pushing venous valve leaflets apart, and enabling retrograde venous flow. Analogies with varicose veins of the lower limb are helpful, and symptoms are similar. Women with symptomatic PVI report a dull pelvic ache that is worse on standing and sitting and persists throughout the day. It can be relieved by lying down. Early treatments for PVI included laparoscopic ligation; however, since the advent of endovascular occlusive techniques, treatments have lower risk and lower cost, and can be undertaken without sedation or anesthetic. However, there have been no high-quality randomized controlled trials of interventions and, therefore, the evidence is limited to single-center case series.

Keywords: chronic pelvic pain, pelvic vein incompetence, women’s health

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