May-Thurner Syndrome or MTS is a vascular disorder that occurs when the right common iliac artery compresses the left iliac vein, causing discomfort in the legs. Restricted blood flow can cause blood clots, but there are ways to reduce the risk of complications.
The left iliac vein has the important job: directing blood from the pelvis to the heart. The nearby artery can rarely compress the vein, narrowing it and preventing the blood from flowing freely. Due to the impeded flow, the blood can pool and form clots.
Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome
May-Thurner Syndrome can cause aching and fullness in the leg, as well as swelling and redness, varicose veins or leg sores that are persistent and do not heal. More frequently, it doesn’t cause any symptom at all until a dangerous blood clot occurs.
Signs of a Blood Clot
Additional signs that could indicate a blood clot are pain and cramping in the leg, skin that is warm to the touch and dark patches on the skin. Clots that break off can travel to the lungs, blocking the blood flow and oxygen supply. This is called pulmonary embolism.
Reducing the Risk
Exercise – Being physically active is an effective way to reduce the chances of developing a blood clot. A sedentary lifestyle is dangerous to your health. Moving around frequently will improve blood circulation.
Weight Loss – People with a higher BMI are at greater risk of developing a variety of complications such as blood clots. Combining regular exercise with healthy eating will help keep the extra pounds away.
Family History – Anyone with a family history of DVT should have regular medical checkups and consider prophylactic medication to thin the blood. Veniti notes that stenting is another option to hold the damaged vein open. May-Thurner Syndrome stenting involves placing a tiny balloon into the vein via a catheter and inflating the balloon to open the vein. It is then kept permanently open by a wire stent, restoring normal blood flow.
May-Thurner syndrome is an iliac compression syndrome that causes leg discomfort and swelling and can lead to DVT if not managed properly. Healthy lifestyle choices, regular medical check-ups, medication, and vascular surgery can help prevent future blood clots.