A Comprehensive Guide to May Thurner Syndrome

A Comprehensive Guide to May Thurner Syndrome

North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center


If you suffer from deep vein thrombosis or go through bouts of swelling in the legs often, you might be suffering from May Thurner Syndrome (MTS). It is also known as Cockett's syndrome or the iliac vein compression. May Thurner Syndrome can often develop slowly over the years without giving you any signs or symptoms.

Cause of May-Thurner syndrome

Iliac vein compression affects two blood vessels that transfer blood to your legs: the right iliac artery that transports blood to your right leg and the left iliac artery that transports blood from your left leg. In MTS disease, the right iliac artery compresses the left iliac artery when they come across each other in your pelvis region. It causes a bottleneck, and the blood is unable to flow freely through the left iliac artery.

It makes you more susceptible to deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot condition that can be fatal. A deep vein thrombosis can even cause a clot in your lungs, known as pulmonary embolism.

Symptoms of MTS

MTS occurs more frequently in women than in men, and it can have a serious impact on your health. Being aware of its symptoms helps you take preventive measures before any major complications arise.

  • A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the first symptom of MTS. And unless you have DVT, you might not even become aware of MTS in your legs.
  • If DVT is not present, you might suffer from pain and swelling in your legs. You might have difficulty in walking and suffer from discomfort in your thighs.
  • Some early signs also include a feeling of stiffness in your legs, which worsens with performing an activity.
  • The disease can also cause you to feel that your shoes are tighter, especially during the evening.
  • Advanced MTS can cause skin discoloration and ulcerations/sores, often on the inner areas of an ankle.

Diagnosing May-Thurner Syndrome

MTS can be diagnosed by an initial clinical examination by a physician. However, a better option is to get diagnostic imaging that includes a CT scan or an MRI, USG, and a venogram. A venogram is a different type of X-Ray that shows the condition of the veins in your legs with a special kind of dye.

Risk factors for May-Thurner Syndrome

Certain factors can increase MTS risk, especially if you already suffer from DVT. These include:

  • Prolonged activities if you have DVT
  • Have scoliosis
  • Are a new mother
  • Have 2 or more kids
  • Take oral birth control
  • Dehydration
  • Medical conditions that cause blood clotting.

Treatment of MTS

At North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center, we treat MTS with two goals in mind: to treat clots that you already have and to prevent any further clots from forming inside your body. Some of the treatments may involve:

  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Clot busters
  • Bypass surgery
  • Blood thinners

Have you been diagnosed with MTS? Or suspect you may have MTS? There is no need to panic as it is completely treatable with minimum intervention. Simply book an appointment with us online or contact our team to get expert medical help.


North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center

North Atlanta Vascular Clinic is a vascular surgery center located in Suwanee, Cumming, Alpharetta, and Lawrenceville, Georgia. Our vein disease specialists offer a comprehensive examination that includes a physical examination, review of your symptoms, and discussion of your medical history. We use advanced venography techniques and provide effective treatment for several health conditions like DVT, Spider Veins, Leg Cramps, MTS, and more. Contact us to get accurate diagnosis and treatment for all your vascular diseases.

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