Deep Vein Thrombosis (dvt)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one or more of the deep veins in your body. These deep veins lead to the body’s largest vein called the vena cava, which runs directly to the heart. DVT occurs most commonly in your lower leg and thigh but can occasionally occur in your arm, chest, or other areas of the body. DVT can lead to serious, life-threatening complications, such as a pulmonary embolism.
It can sometimes be difficult to recognize the symptoms of DVT. DVT can block blood flow, causing leg pain or swelling (edema), tenderness, skin redness, or a sensation of warmth. However, in about half the cases, there are mild to no symptoms at all. Poor blood flow increases the risk for DVT. This can occur when you are not able to move for long periods of time, which may lead to blood pooling and clotting in your veins.
Risk factors include:
- Family history of blood clots
- Prolonged travel (driving or flying for many hours)
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
- Injury or surgery
- History of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Prolonged bed rest or paralysis
In some cases of more extensive DVT involving the iliac veins or common femoral veins more aggressive treatment has been recommended to remove the clot to prevent post thrombotic syndrome. Post thrombotic syndrome is characterized by chronic swelling, pain, and in its worst form ulceration.
Whether your DVT requires treatment with medications or minimally invasive procedures. After proper diagnosis, the vascular specialists at Horizon will ensure your treatment is customized to your needs.
Potential treatments include:
- Blood thinners, such as heparin, Lovenox, or Coumadin
- Venous thrombectomy
- Use of compression stockings
Learn more about warning signs and prevention of DVTs in our blog.