What pelvic vein embolisation is
Embolisation (or embolization) comes from the word “embolus”. An “embolus” is an abnormal body travelling in the bloodstream. Embolisation (or embolization) is the process where a doctor purposefully puts a medical device or chemical into a vein to block it off.
When we want to treat the pelvic veins, they are deep inside the body and so cannot be easily reached by surgery. In addition, we cannot use heat such as laser or radiofrequency to destroy these veins, as they lie next to some very important structures; such as the bladder, the bowel, the ureter (the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) and some major arteries.
Therefore, when we need to block one of the pelvic veins and stop blood flowing backwards down it (pelvic venous incompetence or pelvic vein reflux), we need to embolise (or embolize) the pelvic vein – the process called pelvic embolisation (or embolization).