Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Untreated pelvic veins may lead to Caesarian Section

Varicose veins seen arising from the buttock and area next to the vulva and running down into the leg

This very interesting patient came to seek advice at The Whiteley Clinic. She was 4 months pregnant on her third pregnancy.

She had large varicose veins arising from the inner aspect of the leg next to the vulva (para-vulval veins) and from the buttock, leading down into large varicose veins of the leg. 

Varicose veins seen in para-vulval region in pregnancy running down into leg
The large varicose veins continued upwards into the vulva and vagina, making her obstetrician worried about bleeding during a normal delivery and leading him to suggest that a caesarian section might be needed.

Close up of para-vulval veins in pregnancy
Unfortunately this lady had seen these veins during her second pregnancy, but they weren't recognised as a sign of pelvic venous incompetence (or pelvic congestion syndrome) and so she was not referred for investigation and treatment.

As such, she is now in this dilemma with her third pregnancy. Had she been referred for treatment when the veins were first noticed, we could have fixed the underlying problem and she would not be facing the possibility of a caesarian for the risk of bleeding.

At The Whiteley Clinic we continually try to raise awareness and interest into this and other venous conditions, so that patients know that these conditions can be serious and also that treatment is available in specialised centres.

Also, we hope that Gynaecologists, Obstericians and mid-wives will also start diagnosing their patients with pelvic congestion syndrome and vulval varicose veins and let them know that their condition can be cured.

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