All You Need to Know About May Thurner Syndrome 

may thurner syndrome

Usually, most people do not have an idea about MTS (May Thurner Syndrome). If you are one of them then this blog is for you. In this blog, we will shed light on May Thurner Syndrome in detail along with its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and so on. Therefore, without further ado, let us get started with understanding what exactly May Thurner syndrome is.

What is May-Thurner Syndrome?

 It is an atypical vascular disorder in which an artery compresses your pelvis vein. It generally occurs when a close-by artery compresses the left iliac vein. This left iliac vein is very important as it brings blood from your pelvis and legs back up to your heart. This compression does not allow blood to flow properly which in turn leads to narrowing and scarring. 

There are a few cases in which an artery compresses the right iliac vein or both veins. This compression can lead to symptoms in your left or right leg and foot. It can also cause blood clots

This syndrome is not inherited or generic.  This May-Thurner syndrome is widely known as “iliac vein compression syndrome” and “cocketts syndrome.”

Now, let us move to the next section.

Signs and Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome

Generally, most people do not know they have MTS until they present with a deep vein thrombosis in the left extremity. Now, you must be wondering what DVT is. 

Read on to know.

DVT is nothing but a blood clot that may partially or completely block blood flow through the vein.

If you are suffering from MTS, you must know the symptoms of DVTs. So, you can seek medical attention. 

However, there are few people who may experience symptoms without DVT which occurs predominately in the left leg.

may thurner syndrome

source: veinscarolina.com

These symptoms are as follows.

  • Leg pain
  • Leg ulcers
  • Skin discoloration
  • Leg pain with walking
  • Feeling of heaviness in the leg
  • Enlarged veins in the leg

Symptoms of DVT are as follows

  • Swelling in the leg
  • Leg pain
  • Skin looks red, discolored, or feels warm to the touch
  • Tenderness or throbbing in the leg
  • Enlarged veins in the leg

Causes and Risk Factors

May-Thurner syndrome is random. It is not a kind of condition that you inherit from your parents. In short, it is not in your genes.

Generally, blood vessels’ intersect is normal. However, in a few cases, they are positioned in a way that the right iliac artery presses the left iliac vein against the spine. It adds pressure and be the reason for the narrower opening. It can also lead to scars in the vein.

You have a great risk of getting May-Thurner syndrome if you:

  • Just had a baby
  • Takes oral birth control
  • Are dehydrated
  • Are female
  • Suffering from a condition that causes your blood to clot too much
  • Cumulative radiation exposure
  • Surgery
  • Prolonged inactivity

As per the study, the female gender has 2X risks of getting May-Thurner syndrome as compared to males. Also, in most cases, May-Thurner syndrome occurs in individuals between ages 20 and 40.

may thurner syndrome

source: ivcnorthwest.com

Diagnosis

For your healthcare provider, it is hard to diagnose MTS due to its lack of symptoms. Though, first, your healthcare provider will request your medical history and give you a physical examination to look for symptoms of a DVT.

Your doctor will use imaging tests to examine if there is narrowing in your left iliac vein or not. To diagnose, your doctor either opt for a noninvasive or invasive approach. Check out the relation between diabetes and DVT.

Let us check out a few examples of imaging tests that your healthcare provider performs incorporate:

Noninvasive Tests:

  • CT Scan
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI Scan
  • Venogram

Invasive Tests:

  • Catheter-based venogram
  • Intravascular ultrasound uses a catheter to carry out an ultrasound from the inside of a blood vessel.

Treatment

There are main two goals of May-Thurner syndrome treatment.

  1. The first one is to treat any blood clots that you already have.
  2. The second one is to keep new ones from forming.

The treatment options not only help to ease the pain but it also can lower your risk of developing DVT.

The treatment options for MTS are as follows.

Angioplasty & Stent

This treatment is quite common for MTS. In this treatment, your healthcare provider uses a small balloon to expand the left iliac vein. After that, they place a small device called a stent which is made up of metal mesh. It keeps the vein open wide. That’s why blood can flow normally. Your doctor may make use of intravascular ultrasound to put the stent in the place.

Blood Thinners

These drugs are usually used to treat DVT. They prevent a new clot and keep one that you already have from getting bigger. These drugs are known as anticoagulants.

may thurner syndrome

source: miosuperhealth.com

Bypass Surgery

In this treatment option, your doctor constructs a new path for blood to flow. Through this path, blood is rerouted around the compressed part of the vein.

Clot Busters

Your healthcare provider may use this treatment for more serious clots. This treatment is known as thrombolytic therapy. In this treatment, your doctor uses a thin tube called a catheter to send the medication to the site of the clot. This drub can easily break down the clot in a few hours or a few days.

Compression Stockings

If you have mild symptoms then your doctor may suggest you wear tight stockings that go from toes to knee. These stockings put pressure on the lower leg that eases swelling and improves blood flow.

Surgery 

In this, the patient’s right artery is positioned behind the left iliac vein. So, it no longer presses on the left iliac vein.

Surgical Thrombectomy

If the blood clot is very large and causing severe tissue damage then this surgery is performed to remove the clot. 

Tissue Sling

In this surgery, extra tissue is placed as a cushion between the two blood vessels.

Vena Cava Filter

If you cannot take blood thinners or it is not working well for you then the doctor places a filter in your vena cava – a large vein in your belly. This filter will not prevent clots from forming but catch them before they end up in your lungs.

Complications

When a piece of DVT breaks off and travels to the lung, it can lead to a lung clot. This condition is known as Pulmonary Embolism. PE is a life-threatening condition that needs instantaneous medical attention.

When you have a PE, you may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Coughing up blood
  • Heart attack

may thurner syndrome

source: mvsdoctors.com

Recovery

Usually, surgery performed to treat MTS is done on an outpatient basis. It means you can go home the same day after it. Also, you will be able to return to your normal activities within a few days to a week.

If you have undergone bypass surgery, then you might have some soreness afterward. It may take several weeks to a couple of months to make a full recovery. 

Also, your doctor will advise you how often you require following up. If you have a stent then you may need an ultrasound check about a week after surgery + periodic monitoring after that. 

Also Read: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments Explained

Signing Off

Most people live with May-Thurner Syndrome without even knowing that they have it. There are various treatment options available when MTS transforms into DVT. If you are suffering from DVT, it is vital that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of a PE. Therefore, you can get immediate help. 

So, if you are facing chronic MTS symptoms, we recommend you to consult your healthcare provider about it. They can help you to diagnose your condition and advise you on the best ways to treat and manage it.

If you have any queries or confusion regarding MTS. DVT, or PE, feel free to ask us. For that, connect with us in a comment section below. For more information, visit Healthclubfinder.