May-Thurner Syndrome

Although experiencing pain, discoloration and warmth in the legs is not necessarily a serious medical condition, it is important to have underlying vascular conditions such as May-Thurner Syndrome ruled out when seeking proper diagnosis and treatment.  

What is May-Thurner Syndrome?

May-Thurner Syndrome affects the iliac veins – a vascular structure containing internal and external veins that have several connections in the pelvic and abdominal region. May-Thurner Syndrome is caused when the left iliac vein is compressed under the right iliac artery, increasing the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – the complete or partial blockage of veins due to a blood clot.

This vascular condition can be difficult to detect, with many cases being diagnosed along with DVT. While some patients are asymptomatic, others can experience multiple symptoms in their legs such as:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Sensation of increased warmth
  • Redness or discoloration
  • Enlarged veins
  • The appearance of the affected leg being larger than the other
  • Ankle skin discoloration or ulcers
  • Development of varicose veins in the pelvic area

As the development of DVT can be potentially life threatening, it is important to have this condition properly diagnosed and treated. Although anyone can develop May-Thurner Syndrome, individuals with medical or family histories of blood clots tend to be at higher risk for this vascular condition.

How is May-Thurner Syndrome Treated?

Developments in diagnostic technology and medicine have made this condition easy to find and treat. Using intravascular ultrasound, a small, thin catheter is inserted with a balloon on the end. Once slightly inflated, the balloon stretches affected veins open and increases blood flow. A small, metal mesh tube called a stent is then carefully placed inside of the expanded vein to help provide structure. This procedure is minimally-invasive and can either be performed in the office at Pulse Cardiovascular or at a hospital, depending on patient preference.

What Can I Expect After Treatment?

If May-Thurner Syndrome is detected early before dangerous blood clots form, outcomes are generally excellent with patients experiencing complete recovery from symptoms. During your consultation, our team will discuss any potential side effects, risks or instructions that may apply to you.