Iliac Vein Compression & May-Thurner Syndrome Treatment in NYC

What is iliac vein compression?

Iliac vein compression, also known as May-Thurner syndrome, occurs when the main vein of your left leg – the left iliac vein – becomes constricted by the main artery in your right leg – the right iliac artery. The constriction of the left iliac vein by the right iliac artery occurs when the two blood vessels cross paths in your pelvis. When the left iliac vein becomes constricted or compressed, it prevents your blood from flowing correctly.

What causes iliac vein compression?

The cause of Iliac vein compression is not yet fully understood. However, iliac vein compression appears to mainly affect women between the ages of 20 and 40. Iliac vein compression also seems to be more common in women after they have given birth or after extended time frames of limited physical activity.

What are the symptoms of iliac vein compression?

Typically, there are little to no symptoms of iliac vein compression. You may experience some symptoms of pain or swelling in your leg, but generally, symptoms will appear when iliac vein compression causes a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis may include:

  • Inflammation or swelling in your leg, foot, or ankle
  • A cramping or pulling pain in your leg, usually starting in the calf and working its way up
  • Affected area of skin feels warmer than its surrounding areas
  • Discoloration of the affected skin

How is iliac vein compression diagnosed?

To diagnose iliac vein compression your doctor will perform a physical to identify any signs of a deep vein thrombosis. Further testing may be done to confirm a diagnosis. Additional testing may include:

Can iliac vein compression lead to complications if left untreated?

If left untreated, iliac compression may lead to deep vein thrombosis, which may lead to the following complications:

Contact a medical professional immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • A sudden shortness of breath that intensifies with physical activity
  • Chest pain or discomfort, almost feeling as though you are experiencing a heart attack
  • Coughing up blood or blood-stained mucus

How is Iliac vein compression treated?

Usually, if no symptoms are experienced, treatment may not be needed. If needed, iliac vein compression treatment will be used to help prevent the formation of clots and to help to treat any existing blood clots that you may have. Treatment options may include:

Our heart and vein doctors at Heart Vein NYC have over 20 years of experience providing the New York City area with comprehensive, personalized vascular care for patients who suffer from iliac vein compression or who have symptoms of a vascular condition. Contact our compassionate heart doctors if you believe you have a vascular problem and want to learn more about improving your vascular health. Call 212.226.8000 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment with Heart Vein NYC today.

NYU Langone Logo
Lenox Hill Hospital Logo
Northwell Health Logo
Columbia University Medical Center Logo

Request Appointment

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Thank you for contacting us! We will get in touch with you shortly.