May-Thurner Syndrome Unveiled: Surprising Treatments You Need to Know!

May-Thurner Syndrome: A Step-by-Step Guide

May-Thurner Syndrome

Knowledge of May-Thurner Syndrome:

At the heart of May-Thurner Syndrome is the compression of the left iliac vein by the right iliac artery. This vein is a vital channel for blood returning from the pelvis and legs to the heart. When compressed, the vein can become narrowed and scarred, disrupting normal blood flow and leading to a series of complications.

The Stages of May-Thurner Syndrome:

Asymptomatic Compression: Initially, the compression of the left common iliac vein (CIV) might not cause any symptoms.
Venous Spur Formation: Over time, the pressure can lead to the development of a venous spur, further obstructing blood flow.
Lower Extremity DVT: In its most severe form, MTS can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the left lower extremity, a serious condition that requires immediate attention.


The only definitive way to diagnose MTS is through imaging tests that can visualize the compression of the left iliac vein by the right iliac artery. These tests are crucial for determining the presence and severity of the condition.

Treatment Options:

Blood Thinners: These medications help prevent the formation of blood clots, a common complication of MTS.

Thrombolysis: This catheter-based procedure directly addresses blood clots by delivering clot-busting drugs to the affected area.

Stenting: A stent, a small tube made of metal mesh, is used to reopen the vein and restore proper blood flow.

Compression Stockings: Worn on the legs, these stockings apply gentle pressure to improve blood flow and alleviate symptoms.

Conservative Measures and When to Seek More Aggressive Treatment:

Many individuals with venous insufficiency, a broader category that includes MTS, find relief through conservative measures such as lifestyle changes (e.g., weight management, exercise), the use of compression stockings, and leg elevation to improve blood flow. However, if these measures fail to alleviate symptoms, more aggressive treatments like thrombolysis or stenting may be necessary.


May-Thurner Syndrome presents unique challenges, but understanding the condition is the first step towards effective management. Through a combination of lifestyle adjustments and medical interventions, individuals with MTS can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. If you suspect you might have MTS, or if you’re experiencing unexplained leg pain or swelling, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Remember, early detection and treatment are key to preventing complications associated with this condition.


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Burke RM, Rayan SS, Kasirajan K, Chaikof EL, Milner R. Unusual case of right-sided May-Thurner syndrome and review of its management. Vascular. 2006 Jan-Feb;14(1):47-50. [PubMed]

Abboud G, Midulla M, Lions C, El Ngheoui Z, Gengler L, Martinelli T, Beregi JP. “Right-sided” May-Thurner syndrome. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2010 Oct;33(5):1056-9. [PubMed]

MAY R, THURNER J. The cause of the predominantly sinistral occurrence of thrombosis of the pelvic veins. Angiology. 1957 Oct;8(5):419-27. [PubMed]

Negus D, Fletcher EW, Cockett FB, Thomas ML. Compression and band formation at the mouth of the left common iliac vein. Br J Surg. 1968 May;55(5):369-74. [PubMed]

One thought on “May-Thurner Syndrome Unveiled: Surprising Treatments You Need to Know!

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