May-Thurner syndrome is a rare vascular condition that affects a vein in the pelvis.
It occurs when a nearby artery compresses the left iliac vein. This vein brings blood from your pelvis and legs back up to your heart.
The compression prevents blood from flowing properly, leading to narrowing and scarring.
In some cases, an artery can compress the right iliac vein, or both veins.
Some people with May-Thurner syndrome have no symptoms, but over time, this condition can lead to:
Chronic venous insufficiency, in which blood pools in your veins. This causes swelling, pressure, skin changes, and venous ulcers or sores that don’t heal.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in a vein deep below your skin. If a blood clot breaks free and travels to your lungs, heart, or brain, it can lead to serious, even life-threatening issues like: Pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in your lung, Heart attack or Stroke.
Swelling, heaviness, or fullness in your leg or foot.
Venous ulcers or sores that do not heal on your leg.
Varicose veins in your leg.
In some cases, May-Thurner syndrome has no symptoms and patients go undiagnosed until they develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Symptoms of DVT can include:
Leg pain and tenderness.
Redness or other changes in skin color.
Skin that feels warm.
To diagnose May-Thurner syndrome, your doctor will:
Perform a physical exam.
Ask about your medical history and symptoms.
Use an imaging test — like an ultrasound, MRI, or venogram — to confirm your diagnosis.
If symptoms are severe, this would warrant placement of a stent in the affected vein which would displace the pressure that caused the narrowing. This is performed by a vascular & interventional radiologist.
The above information is not all inclusive of the risks, alternatives and benefits. It is not meant to be a substitute for informed discussion between you and your doctor, but can act as a starting point for such a discussion. There are complications possible with any medical procedure. Overall, minimally invasive procedures have a lower complication rate than open surgeries.