May-Thurner syndrome (MTS) is a blood vessel condition that most often affects young women. They may end up with a confusing combination of leg and pelvic pain and wonder if the two symptoms are connected.
You can’t know for sure that you have May-Thurner syndrome until you see specialists, like Dr. Haney & Dr. Stout here at Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center, for diagnostic imaging that allows us to examine your veins & arteries.
But you can make a good decision about the possibility of having the condition when you know your risk factors and recognize the symptoms.
As a result, most patients coming into our office for the first time are usually only doing so because they’ve exhausted the rest of their care options. That’s why the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center team decided we wanted to take some time and share everything you need to know about caring for May-Thurner Syndrome in Rogers.
Care Solutions from the Experts on May-Thurner Syndrome in Rogers
You know the incredible team at the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center for our work as premier vein experts in Rogers. However, our concierge-level care services have expanded!
We’re now your one-stop-shop for all things vascular health (excluding the heart), and can now provide you with world-class vein & artery care. And, of course, world-class May-Thurner Syndrome care in Rogers.
Dr. Stout, the newest member of our family, is a significant contributor to this service expansion. He is a celebrated vascular surgeon who has brought his arterial expertise to the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center team. He is a leading expert in diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases and conditions affecting arteries and veins. It’s his expertise that has allowed us to become the comprehensive vascular care provider that Rogers, Bentonville, Fayetteville, and the rest of our Northwest Arkansas community deserve.
Not just care providers, it’s our goal to also offer our community thorough vascular wellness education. We want to make sure our patients, friends, and neighbors are as informed as possible when making decisions about their vein & artery health. This blog will provide a breakdown of May-Thurner Syndrome, notable risk factors for the disease, and the treatment options available in Rogers.
What is May-Thurner Syndrome?
May-Thurner syndrome occurs when the right iliac artery pushes against the left iliac vein. The left iliac vein is a major vein in the body that carries blood out of your leg and toward your heart. As the artery compresses the vein, the vein walls narrow and interfere with blood flow.
MTS is a rare issue that typically occurs in a woman’s left leg due to the left iliac vein being flattened. Only found in women, aged 20-45, the issue can be a persistent health concern and result in lasting pain and discomfort. If left untreated, the condition may become more serious.
When the iliac vein is compressed, it can cause pain, swelling, and even varicose veins in the left leg. Pregnant women or women who are immobilized for long periods of time are often the most affected. A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), more commonly known as a blood clot, can materialize if left untreated.
This is what makes May-Thurner Syndrome such a serious health issue. It’s not just uncomfortable; it’s life-threatening. Blood clots are serious health concerns that need to be addressed as soon as they’re discovered. If they aren’t, they can result in:
- A pulmonary embolism: can happen when a DVT breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. It can damage your lungs and prevent your other organs from getting enough oxygen.
- Blood clots in other parts of the body can cause problems such as an ischemic stroke, a heart attack, kidney problems & failure, and pregnancy-related concerns.
May-Thurner Syndrome Risk Factors
One thing to know about May-Thurner syndrome is that it typically occurs between the ages of 20-45. But age isn’t the primary risk factor.
You’re more likely to get May-Thurner syndrome if you:
- Are female
- Recently had a baby
- Had more than one child
- Take oral contraceptives
- Frequently dehydrated
- Have scoliosis
- Have a condition that increases blood clotting
Examples of conditions that increase your risk of developing blood clots include Peripheral Artery Disease, Atherosclerosis,
Common Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome
Chronic pelvic pain is the single most common symptom of MTS, as well as many gynecologic problems.
May-Thurner syndrome also causes symptoms in your left leg, including:
- Leg swelling (often involving the entire left leg)
- Leg pain
- Discolored skin
- Skin rashes
- Varicose veins
- Slow-healing leg ulcers
Caring for May-Thurner Syndrome in Rogers
Now, let’s take a deep breath. In and out.
We know this might sound frightening and that any major health issue can be a point of stress. Our goal is never to scare you. We just want to make sure you’re fully informed. The Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center believes that it’s important our patients have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their health and circulatory wellbeing.
We believe that when it comes to making decisions about your health, it’s crucial to have all the facts. Unfortunately, not all of those facts are pleasant. Thankfully, though, there is good news.
May-Thurner Syndrome, though not curable, is entirely treatable. It’s important to pay attention to your well-being and be aware if you have any risk factors for May-Thurner Syndrome or are experiencing any symptoms. That way you can pursue treatments and care.
However, it’s important not to jump to conclusions and listen to your body. The odd ache or pain isn’t unnatural and can happen to anyone. However, frequent pain, discomfort, or previously mentioned symptoms warrant further attention.
Conservative Care for Pelvic Congestion
Many women suffering with symptoms of MTS are simply dealing with pelvic congestion, unrelated to anatomical conditions. As a result, if you’re concerned you may have May-Thurner syndrome, there are some conservative care steps to pursue first.
If your condition does not improve or worsens, you should seek medical attention.
Here are a few behaviors that can improve your circulation and mitigate venous insufficiency or arterial disease brought on by pelvic congestion:
- Exercise. Exercising is a great way to improve venous insufficiency, as it gets blood flowing which can mitigate blood pooling in your veins. Walking and cardiovascular exercise are especially beneficial.
- Stop Smoking. Smoking is incredibly harmful to your circulatory system and can contribute to the worsening of vascular health conditions. You should stop smoking immediately if you believe you may have any venous or arterial congestion and disease.
- Elevate your legs. Elevating your legs while sitting down can naturally help the blood flow toward the heart, as your veins won’t have to work against gravity. This can improve circulation and lessen blood reflux in your legs.
- Avoid wearing high heels. Wearing high heels can harm blood flow in your legs. You should wear flat or low-heeled shoes because this flexes and exercises your calf muscles, promoting more circulation.
- Monitor your diet. Watching what you eat and drink is especially important. You want to reduce your sodium intake to minimize vein swelling. You also want to drink plenty of water and eat a fiber-healthy diet to prevent constipation—which can increase blood pressure.
While taking time to let your body recover is important, you should still consult a vascular specialist if you’re experiencing painful and uncomfortable varicose veins. Conservative care is the first step towards getting healthy, but none of these behaviors should take the place of consulting a healthcare provider or vein specialist.
If you’re worried about your vascular health, turn to professionals.
Providing Care for May-Thurner Syndrome
Though at-home conservative care and behavioral adjustments are essential to your vascular health, they won’t do much if you are suffering with May Thurner Syndrome. The issue is an anatomical one, meaning if you are affected then preventative conservative care simply can’t change the situation. However, all is not lost!
Many women who have May-Thurner Syndrome discover the issue and with prompt and effective intervention from an artery specialist, resolve their symptoms and live very comfortable, healthy lives. That’s why it’s so important to consult specialists. After all, conservative care can’t fix an anatomical or genetic issue, like May Thurner Syndrome. That’s why there’s so much value in medical care for May-Thurner Syndrome in Rogers.
When dealing with pelvic congestion or DVT brought on by May-Thurner syndrome, the only solution is surgery. Specifically, angioplasty and stenting. Women with MTS that undergo this procedure often see complete health improvement and a lessening of symptoms. Though that doesn’t mean they don’t still need to be careful and work to support their circulatory system and overall vascular health!
Take an active role in your vascular health today!
If you need support caring for May-Thurner Syndrome in Rogers, turn to the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center. There’s no one better at providing the comprehensive vascular care you need to improve your health and get back on your feet. Our experience and constantly expanding suite of care options enable us to guide you toward lasting wellness solutions.
We are a premier practice in Northwest Arkansas for all the highest-quality vein and artery treatments available. Dr. Haney, Dr. Stout, and the expert staff have over 75 years of combined experience taking care of patients’ vascular wellbeing. Helping people is what we do, and it is our mission to provide the people of Northwestern Arkansas and beyond with the absolute best care possible.
You can count on the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center to provide exceptional May-Thurner Syndrome care results for our patients each and every time.
We also hold regular free screening events.
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