If you experience leg heaviness and discomfort despite resting the entire day or notice redness and discoloration that do not react to medications, it could be the symptoms of a venous illness.
If you are currently suffering from worsening leg pain, swelling, and heaviness, it may be the right time to consult a vascular specialist. You may exhibit the common symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome, a rare condition that affects the specific vessels in your pelvis. A physician can perform laboratory workup and imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis.
What is May-Thurner Syndrome?
May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS) is a condition characterized by compression of the outflow tract of the iliac vein, a major vessel that drains the pelvis. Occlusion of the vessel predisposes you to various vascular conditions that promote long-term complications.
How Does May-Thurner Syndrome Occur?
MTS occurs due to the abnormal compressive effect of the right common iliac artery on the left common iliac vein. When this happens, it compresses the left common iliac vein and other venous segments. The obstruction results in increased venous pressure. Since outflow is occluded, blood is unable to circulate properly, which results in accumulation in the affected lower extremity.
What are the Complications of May-Thurner Syndrome?
May-Thurner Syndrome symptoms include chronic leg pain and swelling that do not improve with pharmacologic interventions. Unfortunately, most people do not seek treatment for these symptoms. Lack of immediate intervention eventually results in blood clot formation, which increases the risk of morbidity and mortality.
Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening complication that arises from untreated MTS. This condition obstructs blood in the pulmonary artery, a large vessel that supplies the lungs. This leads to the absence of oxygen and nutrient supply to the lungs, which results in a severe lack of supply to the vital organs of the body.
The Bottom Line
May-Thurner Syndrome increases morbidity especially during the latter stages of the disease. Thus, early detection by a vascular specialist is the key to appropriate diagnosis and management. Immediate intervention gives you a lower risk of developing severe post-thrombotic syndromes.