About Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the body – usually in the leg. While DVT is a fairly common condition, it is also very dangerous. If the clot breaks away and travels through your bloodstream, it could end up in the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism – a potentially fatal condition. DVT is usually the result of blood-clotting abnormalities, periods of inactivity, narrowed veins, and trauma or injury.
Symptoms of DVT include pain, swelling and discoloration around the area of the clot.
There are many causes or risk factors for DVTs which include: Age greater than 40, bed rest or prolonged inactivity, pregnancy, poor overall health, obesity, clotting disorders, injury, smoking, and hormone replacement therapy/birth control.
The diagnosis of DVT is made by a combination of medical history, physical exam, and medical imaging. Usually, Duplex ultrasound in the office is used to diagnose the presence and extent of DVTs quickly.
Most patients with DVT can be treated with just anticoagulation (blood thinner medication). For patients with more extensive DVT or severe symptoms, DVT can be treated in the hospital with a minimally invasive, catheter-directed procedure that infuses clot dissolving medication into the veins.
- Anticoagulation (blood thinner medication)
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis
- Compression stockings