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May-Thurner Syndrome

Also known as Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome

What is May-Thurner Syndrome?

May-Thurner Syndrome, also known as iliac vein compression syndrome, occurs when the right iliac artery squeezes the left iliac vein against the lumbar spine inside the abdomen. Because of this compression, blood flow is slowed and pressure is increased in the left pelvis and leg. The majority of patients are asymptomatic and do not require treatment. Some patients may show symptoms such as large Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT), which is a type of blood clot that can be very serious.

What are symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome?

  • Leg pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Heavy feeling or tired legs
  • Leg pain when walking
  • Skin discoloration
  • Leg ulcers
  • Enlarged leg veins
  • Pelvic, hip, or back pain.

What are the risk factors for May-Thurner Syndrome?

As stated above, many patients are asymptomatic and show no signs. You may be more likely to have May-Thurner Syndrome if you:

  • Are female
  • Have recently had a baby
  • Take oral birth control
  • Have scoliosis
  • Have any condition that causes your blood to clot regularly

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood moves too slowly through your veins, and a blood clot is formed. Typically, in a healthy vein, the pressure from vein walls creates a compression to help push the blood through the vein. In a damaged vein, venous disease causes the blood to pool and expands the veins, causing blood to flow slower. DVT typically occurs in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. 

We are here to help.

The Texas Cardiac & Vascular Institute offers a variety of treatments for Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome.  Please reach out if you or a family member has signs or symptoms of Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome.