Pelvic vein thrombophlebitis is an unusual, but extremely serious, complication of pelvic surgery. It occurs in approximately 0.5 to 1 per cent of patients who develop operative site infections. It may present as two distinct clinical syndromes: acute ovarian vein thrombosis and diffuse thrombosis of multiple small pelvic vessels. Accurate diagnosis is hampered by the absence of a reliable, specific, and noninvasive test for the disorder. Treatment of pelvic vein thrombophlebitis requires administration of broad spectrum antibiotics, intravenous heparin, and, in selected cases, ovarian vein and vena cava ligation.