Iliac Vein Obstruction: Here’s What You Need to Know

The pelvic veins include the external, internal, and common iliac veins, which flow into the inferior vena cava. Blockage or narrowing of the Iliac vein or inferior vena cava vein prevents blood flow from leaving one or both legs, as these are the main exits for blood to return to the heart.

Obstruction or narrowing of the iliac vein results in severely increased pressure in the leg veins and a pattern of varicose veins can be a sign of this obstruction. The cause of obstruction or narrowing may be due to blood clotting (thrombosis) or non-thrombotic as in May-Thurner syndrome. A deep vein thrombosis can result in complete or partial blockage, whereas narrowing is typically due to compression from the spine, or more rarely a cyst, growth, or cancer.

An iliac vein obstruction can cause leg pain and swelling, skin ulceration, discomfort in the lower back region, or pelvic pain, with the pain occurring either constantly or intermittently. Symptoms are often worse with physical activity due to the increased flow of blood into the legs, and the difficulty for blood to return around the obstruction.

When left untreated, an obstruction or narrowing can lead to serious or fatal complications, such as skin ulcers and gangrene, heart attack or stroke. Addressing these obstructions and their resulting complications requires vein disease treatments with a specialist vein doctor. Endovenous laser treatment and sclerotherapy for varicose veins are two safe and effective treatments that are available today.

If you’re concerned that you may be having symptoms of iliac vein obstruction, and would like more information, please contact the Goldman Vein Institute today at one of our two convenient locations:

Jupiter 561-625-9853 or Wellington 561-790-4550, or visit us at

At the Goldman Vein Institute, our mission is to provide our patients with comprehensive care for varicose veins, spider veins, and other conditions caused by venous insufficiency. Our highly-qualified and experienced, board-certified vein specialists, Dr. Goldman and Dr. Varghese-Goldman, combine their extensive knowledge and experience, with the latest innovations in vein treatments.

With our offices in Jupiter and West Palm Beach Florida, the Goldman Vein Institute serves patients from Stuart, Hobe Sound, Tequesta, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Hialeah, Sunny Isles, Bay Harbor, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Aventura, Surfside, Hallandale, and Hollywood, and we welcome patients across South Florida to visit our state-of-the-art vein centers, where we provide the latest in vein treatment technology.

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