Ovarian veins can have incompetent (leaking) valves which allow blood to flow backwards into the pelvis instead of towards the heart. These incompetent ovarian veins may connect with and contribute to varicose veins in the leg via incompetent pelvic veins in the groin. Incompetent pelvic veins may also produce pelvic symptoms in some people. Duplex ultrasound can examine both ovarian veins and determine if they are competent or incompetent. The internal iliac veins are also examined to determine whether they are competent or incompetent. Large incompetent ovarian veins may need to be coiled (occluded) prior to varicose vein treatment if they are felt to be a significant contributor to the varicose veins in the leg.
PATIENT PREPARATION AND EXAMINATION TECHNIQUE:
Patients need to fast for 6 hours. This will reduce the amount of bowel gas in the abdomen and improve image quality. All patients should take their usual oral medications with a small amount of water. The scan is non-invasive and does not involve needles or internal probes.
The patient is imaged in a dim, quiet room and privacy is assured. The patient is scanned lying inclined on the bed. The abdomen is exposed and gel is applied to the skin. The ovarian veins are identified with B-mode and colour Doppler ultrasound and the direction of the venous flow within the veins is documented. The diameters of the ovarian veins are documented. The internal iliac vein veins are also identified and direction of venous flow documented.
Each ovarian vein is identified or not identified and is either incompetent or competent.
Each internal iliac artery is either incompetent or competent.