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Iliac Vein Disease

Do you have risk factors for Iliac Vein Disease?

If you have unexplained swelling, fatigue, and heaviness more in your left leg you may have problems with the main vein that serves as the main way blood gets up your veins and back to your heart and lungs.  

Iliac vein disease, also called May-Turner Syndrome (MTS), is a condition of great concern, as it increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that may partially or completely block the iliac vein. If you’re at risk for May-Turner Syndrome, Vein Specialists of the South is your go-to clinic for treatment in Georgia.

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BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY

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What Causes Iliac Vein Disease?

MTS involves two vessels to your legs, the right iliac artery, and the left iliac vein. These vessels cross paths in your pelvis. When the right iliac artery compresses the left iliac vein, the risk of developing serious DVT increases. DVT can dislodge and travel into your lung, resulting in pulmonary embolism. This is a life-threatening situation.

Most patients aren’t aware they have MTS until they present with a DVT. Symptoms include swelling, pain, tenderness or heaviness in the leg, difficulty walking, redness or skin discoloration, the skin is warm to the touch, or enlargement of the left iliac vein. 

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What Treatment is Available for Iliac Vein Disease?

Dr. Veale has two treatment goals: treat any clots already formed and prevent new ones from forming. Once DVT is addressed, MTS can be controlled.

Blood thinning medication may be prescribed to prevent blood clots if you have not developed DVT.

Thrombolytic Therapy is indicated if a clot has formed. This minimally-invasive treatment involves a clot-dissolving medication delivered through a catheter into the clot. Dissolution occurs within a matter of hours or days. Then the narrowing of the vein may be addressed.

Angioplasty/stenting is another minimally-invasive treatment to widen the narrowed area of the iliac vein using either a balloon or a stent to open vein open for free blood flow. Stenting prevents the iliac artery from compressing the iliac vein in the future.

Vena cava filters are for patients who cannot take blood thinners. It involves inserting the filter into the vena cava (the body’s largest vein) to prevent clot migration. It does not stop clots from forming, but it prevents them from reaching the lungs.

Iliac artery removal does not remove the artery, but shifts its position behind the iliac vein so it no longer compresses it.

Surgical thrombectomy removes the clot. This procedure is typically done only for large clots or those causing severe tissue damage.

Tissue sling inserts extra tissue to act as a cushion between the two blood vessels. 

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What Results Will I See?

Outcomes for MTS patients are generally very good can experience complete resolution of symptoms. Thrombolytic therapy, angioplasty/stenting, or vena cava filters are done on an outpatient basis and patients return to regular activities in about 1 week. For iliac artery removal, thrombectomy, or tissue sling, these more involved treatments may require an overnight hospital stay and it may take 1 week to 1-2 months for a full recovery. 

Take the First Step – Call Today

Since 1997 Vein Specialists of the South has helped thousands of patients like you with varicose veins, spider veins, and leg swelling. Dr. Kenneth Harper a leader in vein health is a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and the American Vein and Lymphatic Medicine. Dr. William Veale who joined VSS in 2018, is a third-generation physician who is Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Vascular Surgery.  Terri Harper, MSN, FNP-C, is a leader in the field of cosmetic spider vein education. Our dedicated nurse injectors have been trained by the best.

At VSS we have a passion for veins  big and small. Serving more than 20,000 patients, Vein Specialists of the South is committed to bringing you Better Veins for Life®. Call today to schedule an appointment with the VSS team,  ‘where veins are not just one thing we do, they are the only thing we do.’

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