May-Thurner Syndrome

Also known as iliac compression syndrome, May-Thurner Syndrome is a narrowing of the left common iliac vein, a blood vessel located in the pelvic area, by the overlying artery. If not treated, this could result in a blood clot called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be life threatening.

Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome

About 2 to 5 percent of people who have vein disorders in this area have May-Thurner Syndrome. If you don’t get treatment, you could get pulmonary embolisms, which is a blood-clot that breaks free and travels in the bloodstream and becomes stuck in the lungs.  If you see any of these symptoms below, make sure you contact us as soon as possible.

  • Swelling, pain and tenderness in the leg
  • Increased warmth in the leg
  • Redness or discoloration of skin
  • Enlarged veins in the leg

May-Thurner Syndrome Treatment

May-Thurner Syndrome is diagnosed through looking at the lower back and pelvic area by X-rays or ultrasounds. Once your doctor determines if you have May-Thurner Syndrome there are several treatment options she may recommend:

  • Prescribe anti-coagulants or blood thinners
  • Thrombolysis: a catheter is inserted in the vein and the clot-dissolving medication breaks apart the clot.
  • Pharmacomechanical thrombolysis: uses clot-dissolving drugs along with a device that breaks the clot mechanically.
  • Angioplasty: a nonsurgical treatment that widens the veins after the blood clot is dissolved. A small balloon is inflated to stretch the vein open and increase blood flow.