May-Thurner syndrome (MTS), also known as iliac vein compression syndrome, is caused when the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery, which increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the left extremity. DVT is a blood clot that may partially or completely block blood flow through the vein.
Symptoms can include swelling, pain, and/or tenderness in the left leg, pain in the pelvis, left groin, and/or left thigh, redness or discoloration of the skin, varicose veins in the left leg, and/or a DVT in the left leg.
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Most people do not know they have MTS, but it is identified when they present with a DVT. People who are more likely to get May-Thurner syndrome are females who have had multiple pregnancies.
DVT can lead to complications in the legs referred to as chronic venous insufficiency link (also known as post-thrombotic syndrome). This condition is characterized by pooling of blood, chronic leg swelling, increased pressure, increased pigmentation or discoloration of the skin, and leg ulcers known as venous stasis ulcer. Even though DVT itself is not life-threatening, the blood clot has the potential to break free and travel through the bloodstream, where it can become lodged in the blood vessels of the lung (known as a pulmonary embolism). This can be a life-threatening condition.
Dr. Wood treats May-Thurner Syndrome by doing an angioplasty. This uses a small balloon to expand the left iliac vein. Then, you may get a device called a stent. It’s a tiny cylinder, made of metal mesh, that keeps the vein open wide so blood can flow normally. An intravascular ultrasound will be used to help put the stent in place.
Outcomes of treatments for MTS are generally very good. Most patients, if identified shortly after the DVT has formed, can be adequately treated with complete resolution of his/her symptoms. Treatment is done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day after having it. You should be able to return to normal activities within a few days to a week.