This procedure is done for problems related to compression (squashing) of the left (sometimes the right as well) common iliac vein. This can cause a number of issues including pelvic congestion syndrome, recurrent varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency including venous ulcers. The diagnosis is made by duplex ultrasound scan with confirmation by venography, CT, MRI or IVUS.
Iliac Vein Stenting
This is done in an angiogram suite using Xray, either under general anaesthetic or sedation with local anaesthetic. It is a day procedure. The veins in the right and left groin are cannulated with a needle and sheaths inserted (small tubes through which the balloon and stents can be delivered). The compression zone is ballooned (stretched up or dilated) using a large balloon and then a stent is placed in the vein to hold it open. This is usually done on the left side alone. Sometimes the right side is done as well. The procedure takes between 45 and 90 minutes.
After the Procedure?
- You will spend 1-2 hours in recovery.
- The sheaths are removed and a nurse will put pressure on the groin to ensure there is no bleeding
- You will be discharged after 2 hours
- Pain relief medication for the back pain
- Normal activities as soon as you feel up to it
- Blood thinners for 3 months
- Followup duplex ultrasound test before followup
- Review by the Art of Vein Care doctor will be in approximately 2-4 weeks
What to expect?
- Bruising in the groin
- Some tenderness in the groin
- Back pain for up to 5 days which can be quite severe
- Blockage of the stent by clot (1-2%)
- Narrowing of the stent
- Stent migration (the stent dislodging and travelling to the heart). It is very rare but is a serious complication if it does occur