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May-Thurner Syndrome

Most of the vascular conditions Dr. Russell Lam treats in his Dallas office are the result of plaque build-up causing arteries to narrow. However, some conditions, such as May-Thurner Syndrome, are the result of the patient’s unique anatomy.

May-Thurner syndrome (MTS) is a vascular condition that occurs when the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery, causing the vein to narrow, which in some cases causes blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).

The pelvic artery lies on top of the pelvic vein and in some individuals the vein can become compressed between the artery and the spine. This condition is the result of the patient’s anatomy, rather than lifestyle factors. Patients are born with this syndrome.

Often patients have no symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome, and are only diagnosed after they develop a blood clot (or deep vein thrombosis) in their pelvic region.

Symptoms of a pelvic blood clot include:

  • Pain (sometimes also in the lower back)
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration (bluish, slightly purplish or reddish)

May-Thurner can be diagnosed using an imaging technique known as Magnetic Resonance Venography (MRV). The MRV uses the same machine as an MRI, but uses special software that allows physicians to visualize blood flow through the vascular system.

If a patient is diagnosed with May-Thurner Syndrome, Dr. Lam will work with him or her to determine the best way to treat existing blood clots and prevent future clots.

Treatment typically includes prescribing blood thinners and placing venous stents to widen the pelvic vein.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lam in Dallas call 214-345-4160 or click here to request an appointment online.


The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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