Woman Stretching Her Leg

May-Thurner Syndrome is a vascular compression disorder caused by a pinched vein near the pelvis (iliac vein) is pinched, preventing blood from flowing normally through the legs. It is also referred to as left iliac vein compression.

When the blood flow slows, it can result result in swelling of the legs. When left untreated it can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

It most commonly occurs in women between 20-40 who have been pregnant.

At the UM Heart and Vascular Center, our vascular surgeons are experts at diagnosing and treating May-Thurner syndrome. To make an appointment or to learn more about our program, call 410-328-5840.


Patient with May-Thurner sometimes have no symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Chronic leg pain
  • DVT
  • Leg swelling
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Varicose veins in the upper legs


At the University of Maryland, our imaging specialists have access to the latest technology to help us make an accurate diagnosis. We may use:

  • Doppler ultrasound: this allows us to see your blood flow in real time
  • CT scan: we take x-ray images from several different angles to build a 3D picture of what is happening inside your body
  • MRI: this allows us to create detailed images of your veins


We evaluate each patient to find the best treatment option, knowing each person needs a different approach.

If symptoms are mild, treatment may not be needed and will go away over time.

When symptoms are severe, treatment options we may suggest include:

  • Blood thinners: this helps prevent blood clots
  • Stenting: we will insert a small mesh tube to hold your vein open, preventing backflow of blood. This is a minimally invasive procedure
  • Surgery: our vascular surgery team can reroute your vein, bypassing the section causing pain
  • Thrombolysis: a minimally invasive procedure to deliver clot-busting medicine directly to blood clots

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment or to learn more about our program, call 410-328-5840.