Swelling and pain in your left leg is a classic sign of May-Thurner syndrome, a condition that needs prompt treatment to restore circulation and prevent complications. By the time you have symptoms, there’s only one way to get optimal relief, and that’s by treating the underlying cause.
Kishore K. Arcot, MD, at Memphis Vein Center has extensive experience diagnosing and treating May-Thurner syndrome. He recommends minimally invasive procedures that improve circulation, ease your symptoms, and restore your health and well-being.
May-Thurner syndrome involves two blood vessels, the right iliac artery and the left iliac vein. The right iliac artery delivers oxygen-rich blood to your right leg, while the left iliac vein carries blood from the left leg back to your heart.
These two veins cross paths in your lower pelvic area, where the right iliac artery tends to push against the left iliac vein. As a result, the vein narrows, slowing down the blood flowing out of your left leg.
The primary symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome include pelvic pain and swelling and pain in your left leg. You can also develop symptoms caused by two complications of May-Thurner syndrome: deep vein thrombosis and chronic venous insufficiency.
Deep vein thrombosis refers to a blood clot in veins located deep in the leg. This condition causes leg pain and swelling along with redness or warmth in the skin near the clot.
If the clot breaks free, it can travel to your lungs and cause a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when valves in the vein weaken, letting blood flow in the wrong direction and build up in the vein. As a result, leg pressure increases, causing complications like skin changes and leg ulcers that don’t heal.
There are two primary treatments for May-Thurner syndrome, one that reopens the left iliac vein and the second that treats deep vein thrombosis.
We treat deep vein thrombosis using two types of medications, blood thinners and thrombolytics. Blood thinners prevent future clots and stop the existing clot from getting larger. But these medications won’t get rid of the clot.
Thrombolytics dissolves the blood clot. We may give you the medication intravenously or through a catheter inserted into the vein. We guide the catheter to the blood clot and then release the thrombolytics.
To restore circulation in the left iliac vein, we perform a minimally invasive procedure called angioplasty and stenting. After making a tiny incision, we insert a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin and use real-time imaging to guide it to the narrowed area in the left iliac vein.
Once the catheter is in the targeted area, we inflate a balloon to expand and reopen the vein. Then we implant a metal mesh stent into the area. The stent stays in place, holding the vein open and maintaining circulation.
Restoring circulation eases leg swelling and pain, stops progressive chronic venous insufficiency, and prevents blood clots from forming.
If you have left leg symptoms like swelling and pain, don’t wait to seek help at our center in Memphis, Tennessee. Call or book an appointment online today.