Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

You can learn TOS, and we can help you!

Beautiful green-eyed woman with thoracic outlet syndrome holding neck

TOS Videos

A picture tells a thousand words. A video is priceless. Watch our educational TOS videos, featuring TOS specialists from around the country. Its a great way to start your educational journey!

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Beautiful brunette woman with thoracic outlet syndrome in pain holding neck with both hands

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

TOS causes pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and hands, headaches, chest pain, and neck pain.

Compression of arteries, veins or nerves causes three types of TOS. Patients can develop permanent weakness or blood clots. TOS causes serious disease, but it is hard to diagnose and treat.

Doctors know thoracic outlet syndrome as TOS. Specifically, the thoracic outlet is the hollow space above your collarbone, between your shoulder and your neck. If you want to find your thoracic outlet, place your fingers on the side of your neck and slide down to the space above your collarbone.

The thoracic outlet has many anatomic variations that can cause narrowing of the thoracic outlet, often worse with arm motion. This narrowing compresses the vessels or nerves, causing blood clot, pain, tingling, numbness, weakness or muscle wasting. Clinical diagnosis of TOS is limited, but MRI can show anatomic abnormalities, compression, and blood clots.

What is TOS?

TOS MRI on Instagram

We know how difficult the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome diagnosis can be for a patient to navigate. Follow us here and watch all the videos at . #thoracicoutletsyndrome #dontguesswithtos ...

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Throughout our TOS Event Educational broadcasts, patients have consistently asked challenging questions that our TOS Experts have been unable to answer fully. This event has multiple physician speakers that tackle some of those tough questions. Includes participant Q & A. Available on multiple streaming platforms. See www.toseducation.org for details. #thoracicoutletsyndrome #dontguesswithtos ...

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Throughout our TOS Event Educational broadcasts, patients have consistently asked challenging questions that our TOS Experts have been unable to answer fully. This event has multiple physician speakers that tackle some of those tough questions. Includes participant Q & A. Available on multiple streaming platforms. See www.toseducation.org for details. #thoracicoutletsyndrome #dontguesswithtos ...

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Is TOS rare? Here's a short clip from our September 13th event. Dr. Scott Werden examines the medical literature in search of an answer. The complete event video is available on the home page at  www.toseducation.org #thoracicoutletsyndrome #dontguesswithtos ...

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We know how difficult the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome diagnosis can be for a patient to navigate. Follow us here and watch all the videos at . #thoracicoutletsyndrome #dontguesswithtos ...

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a challenging disease. Join an upcoming live event and ask a physician expert questions. See for details. #thoracicoutletsyndrome #dontguesswithtos ...

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Diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The accurate and timely diagnosis of TOS makes a critical difference in treatment outcomes.

It is important for doctors to diagnose patients with arterial TOS or venous TOS promptly by finding a blood clot.

Unfortunately, many doctors find the clinical diagnosis of neurogenic TOS remains challenging. Learn how the NeoVista® MRI can overcome this challenge.

Formation or migration of a blood clot causes the sudden onset of pain, swelling, or weakness in patients with arterial TOS or venous TOS. As a result, doctors focus imaging tests to find these blood clots. Once confirmed, doctors use further imaging tests to administer clot-dissolving drugs, and to evaluate the treatment of clots.

Doctors see many patients with neck and arm pain, numbness and tingling. Physical examination tests for neurogenic TOS have major limitations. In contrast, modern imaging tests clearly show anatomic variations, arm motion, and compression of the brachial plexus, helping to prove the diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome TestS
Mature silver-haired doctor with stethoscope diagnosing thoracic outlet syndrome

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What our Patients Say

“I’ve been consuming all of your videos online and am deeply grateful for the education they provide about TOS.”

“Dr. Werden…is completely dedicated to this field and is exactly the kind of doctor every patient wants to have as part of their team.  I know what it’s like to ride the “medical merry-go-round” and now, thanks to Dr. Werden and NeoVista, I also know what it’s like to see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

“When our 11-year old daughter fell onto her shoulder during a soccer game, little did we know that her life was going to change in that moment.  Suddenly she was unable to play basketball or soccer, her two favorite sports, and she could barely lift or move her arm without excruciating pain.  This high resolution MRI turned out to be a critical turning point in our daughter’s road to recovery – with a confirmed TOS diagnosis, a personal consultation with Dr. Werden to understand his findings, and access to a network of people in our area who specialize in this underrecognized condition, our daughter has improved significantly.”

“It has been a pleasure interacting with Dr. Werden and his team. I find Dr. Werden very passionate and knowledgeable about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, TOS imaging, and the anatomy of the affected areas. The interpretation provided by Dr. Werden helped clarify my situation and potential explanations for my symptoms. Throughout the entire process, Dr. Werden has shown genuine interest in me as a patient and taken time to explain the procedure and my results and answer my questions. Highly recommended.”

“The NeoVista MRI-MRA for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome marked a turning point for me in what had previously been an endless search for diagnostic answers after being hit by a drunk driver.  This unique and highly specialized imaging protocol, designed by Dr. Scott Werden (a TOS pioneer and one of the leading advocates for improving TOS diagnosis and care), evaluates all of the relevant anatomy and is extremely detailed (my report was nine pages long!).  Dr. Werden is also extremely generous following the exam in terms of answering questions and consulting with my doctors (neurologists, etc.) — he is completely dedicated to this field and is exactly the kind of doctor every patient wants to have as part of their team.  I know what it’s like to ride the “medical merry-go-round” and now, thanks to Dr. Werden and NeoVista, I also know what it’s like to see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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“I had a left first rib resection, scalenectomy and pec minor release with Dr Humphries on 2/22/22. I had an extra wide first rib and a bony bump where my anterior scalene attached and extensive brachial plexus scarring. I’m doing great! I woke up from surgery feeling better so much better. I will be proceeding with surgery on right side in a few months. Thank you for creating your specialized MRI, it was the tool that helped me determine surgery would yield a favorable outcome.”

“You will have a hard time finding a more compassionate, responsive doctor anywhere. He is so caring and wanted to help me find out what the source of my pain was. I had been dismissed by so many other physicians before him. He is a great doctor.”

Female blue-eyed surgeon holding clipboard smiling slightly can treat thoracic outlet syndrome

Treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

TOS can be successfully treated, especially if it is diagnosed quickly and accurately.

In general, doctors treat patients with arterial and venous TOS urgently, using surgical treatments.

On the other hand, doctors frequently treat patients with neurogenic TOS with conservative methods, before considering surgery.

Doctors treat venous TOS by urgently removing venous blood clot that causes the syndrome. Later, doctors must repair any damaged vein segment and the structures that compress the vein.

Doctors treat arterial TOS with emergency surgery to remove blood clots that block blood flow to the arm. Later, doctors must repair any damaged arterial segment and remove any structures that compress the artery.

Treatment of neurogenic TOS requires removal of abnormal soft tissues or a segment of first rib, depending on the structures that compress the brachial plexus.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Treatment
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TOS Education

The toseducation.org website is dedicated to TOS education for patients and doctors. Check out the latest video featuring TOS experts, and sign up for upcoming TOS education videos.

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About NeoVista®

We are NeoVista®. TOS is our passion. So we created the unique NeoVista® MRI for patients with TOS. But we are much more than that. We strive to help each patient with TOS, and to grow awareness and knowledge of TOS for all patients.

At present, no gold standard exists for the diagnosis of neurogenic TOS. Doctors use many clinical tests that have poor accuracy. Even if a doctor diagnoses TOS accurately, the exact cause remains unknown in any patient.

Fortunately, modern imaging tests show the causes of each type of TOS in great detail.

We have spent a lot of time and effort learning about the diagnosis of TOS. We feel that our unique MRI examination improves the diagnosis of patients with thoracic outlet syndrome. NeoVista® examinations are performed throughout the country. Our imaging partners share our passion to improve the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome.

About NeoVista®
Female young smiling doctor uses MRI of thoracic outlet syndrome