Understanding May-Thurner Syndrome

May-Thurner SyndromeMay-Thurner Syndrome (MTS) also known as iliac vein compression and cockettes syndrome is a condition wherein the right iliac artery or the big pelvic artery squeezes the left iliac vein or commonly known as the big left pelvic vein. It usually causes pain, soreness, and blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on the left leg. The iliac is located near the ilium or the large, upper part of the hipbone.

How it came about

This condition was discovered by two doctors in 1957 and is named after them: doctors R. May and  J. Thurner. It's not a disease and not even hereditary. It's anatomical. Unfortunately, it's something that some people are born with. It can also result from excessive weight gain, age, and trauma.

Signs and risks of MTS

People with May-Thurner Syndrome are vulnerable to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is a blood clot that occurs in the leg that can partly or totally restricts blood flow within the vein. Manifestations that you should take heed of are the pain, swelling, discoloration and the unusual warmth in the leg and pelvic pain as well.

Moreover, persons with May-Thurner syndrome condition are also susceptible to chronic venous insufficiency. These are marked by leg ulcers and severe discoloration and swelling of the leg due to additional pressure within the vein. 

How to treat MTS

There are different ways to treat May-Thurner Syndrome and each solution depends on the severity of the condition of the leg clot. For the uncomplicated situation of the blood clot, a patient can take anti-clotting medications or choose clot-dissolving thrombolytics that are non-surgical and done via a catheter.

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For severe cases of May-Thurner Syndrome, stent infusion is done. A stent is a narrow, metal mesh tube inserted into the vein to keep it open for the blood to flow seamlessly. It acts like a frame.

Vascular surgeries are not frequently performed anymore. Since it is non-invasive, stent insertion has become the popular choice for treating May-Thurner Syndrome.