Ovarian vein embolization is a minimally invasive treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome that is used to close off faulty veins so they can no longer enlarge with blood, thus relieving the pain. Using x-ray imaging and a contrast material to visualize the blood vessel, the interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through the skin into a blood vessel and advances it to the treatment site. A synthetic material or medication called an embolic agent is then inserted through the catheter and positioned within the blood vessel or malformation where it will remain either permanently or temporarily. Temporary embolic agents block blood vessels long enough to allow the body to heal on its own. Permanent embolic agents physically plug blood vessels and cause scar tissue to form in the vessel (arteriovenous malformations and tumors would recur if the embolic agent dissolved). Image-guided, minimally invasive procedures such as embolization for pelvic congestion syndrome should be performed by a specially trained interventional radiologist in an interventional radiology suite or occasionally in the operating room. Prior to the procedure, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed.
Interventional radiology is a medical specialty that uses minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems, and it is an integral part of comprehensive patient care. The UAB Medicine interventional radiology team is a dedicated group of skilled, innovative health care professionals who are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients.
The group uses the latest and most advanced technology and imaging methods, including fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and CT scans, to treat tumors as well as peripheral arterial, venous, urologic, and hepatobiliary diseases. Each of our five dedicated angiography suites has the full range of imaging technology needed for complex procedures, along with the latest in patient monitoring and documentation systems. Because UAB Medicine is an academic health center, patients may be offered participation in clinical research trials, which can provide access to new techniques and treatments that are not available elsewhere in the area.
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