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DESCRIPTIONPelvic congestion syndrome is characterized by chronic pelvic pain which often is aggravated by standing; diagnostic criteria are not well-defined. Embolization of the ovarian and internal iliac veins has been proposed as a treatment for patients who fail medical therapy with analgesics.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is a condition of chronic pelvic pain of variable location and intensity, which is associated with dyspareunia and postcoital pain and aggravated by standing. The syndrome occurs during the reproductive years, but unlike endometriosis is not related to parity. The underlying etiology is thought to be related to varices of the ovarian veins, leading to pelvic congestion. As there are many etiologies of chronic pelvic pain, the pelvic congestion syndrome is often a diagnosis of exclusion, with the identification of varices using a variety of imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scanning, or contrast venography. For those who fail medical therapy with analgesics, surgical ligation of the ovarian vein has been considered. More recently, embolization therapy of the ovarian and internal iliac veins has been proposed. Vein embolization can be performed using a variety of materials including coils, glue and gel foam.
Also, see the Occlusion of Uterine Arteries Using Transcatheter Embolization or Laparoscopic Occlusion to Treat Uterine Fibroids medical policy.
POLICYEmbolization of the ovarian vein and internal iliac veins is considered investigational as a treatment of pelvic congestion syndrome.
POLICY EXCEPTIONSFederal Employee Program (FEP) may dictate that all FDA-approved devices, drugs or biologics may not be considered investigational and thus these devices may be assessed only on the basis of their medical necessity.
Investigative service is defined as the use of any treatment procedure, facility, equipment, drug, device, or supply not yet recognized by certifying boards and/or approving or licensing agencies or published peer review criteria as standard, effective medical practice for the treatment of the condition being treated and as such therefore is not considered medically necessary.
The coverage guidelines outlined in the Medical Policy Manual should not be used in lieu of the Member's specific benefit plan language.
POLICY HISTORY7/15/2004: Approved by Medical Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC)
10/1/2004: Code Reference section completed
6/8/2009: Policy reviewed, no changes
06/07/2010: Policy description udated regarding material used for vein embolization. Policy statement unchanged. FEP verbiage added to the Policy Exceptions section.
07/29/2011: Policy reviewed; no changes.
07/13/2012: Policy reviewed; no changes.
08/14/2013: Policy reviewed; no changes.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association policy # 4.01.18
CODE REFERENCEThis may not be a comprehensive list of procedure codes applicable to this policy.