In some women, varicose veins in the legs will be fed by leaking veins from the pelvis. This often presents as a feeling of heaviness or discomfort in the pelvis during periods and is associated with varicose veins in the legs. These may manifest as prominent veins in the vulva or labia and often run down the inside of the leg or back of the thigh.
Treatment of this problem is done in two stages. Firstly, under local anaesthetic, a catheter is passed up the femoral vein in the groin, into the pelvic veins. Dye is injected through the catheter and this identifies the leaking veins in the pelvis. These are treated with small, metal coils that block off the leaking veins, thus preventing blood running in the wrong direction from the pelvis to the veins in the legs. The second stage of treatment is the same as the procedure for treating normal varicose veins in the legs – click here to read about this treatment.
Both procedures can be done on a day-case basis, which means that you typically do not have to stay overnight in hospital. This combination treatment has a very good success rate.