May-Thurner syndrome and pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) are two different conditions that affect the blood flow in the legs and pelvis, but they have different causes and symptoms.

May-Thurner syndrome is a condition in which the iliac vein, which carries blood from the legs back to the heart, is compressed by the iliac artery, which carries blood from the heart to the legs. This compression can cause a blockage in the vein, leading to a buildup of blood in the legs and serious complications, such as blood clots, chronic venous insufficiency, and pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome include leg pain, swelling, and a feeling of heaviness or fatigue in the legs, as well as skin changes like discoloration or ulcerations.

Pelvic congestion syndrome, on the other hand, is a condition that affects the veins in the pelvis, specifically the ovarian veins, leading to a buildup of blood in the pelvic area. This can cause chronic pain and discomfort in the pelvic area, as well as symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal pain and bloating, and varicose veins in the legs and vulva. PCS is more common in women and linked with pregnancy, hormonal changes and other factors that can cause increased pressure on the pelvic veins.

Both conditions can be diagnosed with imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT or MRI scans. Treatment for May-Thurner syndrome typically includes anticoagulation therapy, compression stockings, and in some cases, surgery.

Treatment for PCS may include:

It is important to note that the symptoms of these conditions can be similar and both can occur in the same person, so a correct diagnosis is crucial for proper treatment and management. May Thurner Syndrone is relatively rare with reported incidence around 0.5-5% of deep vein thrombosis cases in the general population.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should schedule your appointment today with Vein Specialists of the Carolinas. 

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