A small number of patients who suffer from leg pain, especially with exercise or standing; leg swelling; leg ulcers; pelvic pain; or pain with intercourse suffer from obstruction or a partial obstruction of veins in the pelvis (iliac veins) or legs. The obstruction of the veins causes venous blood to back up under pressure in the leg or in the pelvis resulting in the symptoms of pain, swelling, or heaviness. Through sophisticated abdominal/pelvic and leg venous ultrasound techniques, we are able to identify some of the patients who are likely to benefit from treatment. Supplemental evaluation may include CT venograms or MR venograms to examine anatomical details, but the ultrasound helps determine abnormal flow patterns as a result of the obstructions.
The final diagnostic procedure and the therapeutic procedure are done as a single session at Gateway Medical Center where we perform detailed imaging of the veins of the pelvis and abdomen with venograms (injection of an agent directly into the veins which shows up on X-ray) and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). IVUS is ultrasound imaging of the vein from a tiny catheter placed inside the vein which produces a large image on a video monitor screen showing the greatly magnified image of the vein. Once the diagnosis is confirmed and measurements are completed, the vein (usually the iliac vein) is stretched with an angioplasty and stenting is placed within the vein to hold the vein open. We observe most patients overnight and send them home the next day. Most return to work within 5 to 7 days.
Results of treatment usually are dramatic and very gratifying to patient and physician alike. We have been performing these procedures since 2002 are one of the more experienced practices in the United States in these techniques. The facilities at Gateway Medical Center for these procedures are some of the finest available anywhere.
Dr. Daugherty made a “game changing” pelvic vein obstruction presentation at the 2013 International Meeting of Vein Specialists in Boston.
"Before graduating high school, I noticed a growing discomfort in my lower back region, leg pain, and severe pelvic pain. By age twenty-five, the pain had intensified beyond discomfort. As I was nearing thirty, my constant leg and pelvic pain interfered with my daily activities.…" -- R.C.