Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg, thigh, or pelvis, but can also develop in the arm. DVT can cause symptoms that range from uncomfortable to painful. It can also lead to serious complications, such as pulmonary embolism (PE), which is when a clot breaks free and travels to the lungs.
Among the risk factors for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are aging (being over the age of 60), obesity, smoking, cancer, surgery or trauma (especially to the lower limbs), pregnancy, immobility or a very long bed rest, and long-haul flights. Inherited genetic conditions can also increase the risk of this problem. COVID-19 is now listed as another risk factor for DVT.
Not everyone with DVT experiences symptoms, and some have symptoms that are mild and may be ignored or may be attributed to other medical conditions. However, half of Americans with DVT do experience symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Blood flowing sluggishly can lead to the formation of clots in deeper veins, and these blood clots further obstruct blood flow. Look out for these symptoms of DVT:
- Chronic swelling of one or both legs
- Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, often worse when standing or walking, as pressure increases within veins
- Increased pigmentation or skin discoloration
- Redness and warmth over an affected area
- The development of venous ulcers, which are open skin sores
- Persistent or severe dizziness or headaches
What To Do If You Have Symptoms of DVT
If you suspect DVT based on the above mentioned symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away, especially if they occur suddenly. If you experience shortness of breath or chest pain, feel lightheaded or dizzy, or start coughing up blood, seek emergency medical attention.
Deep vein thrombosis is a vascular issue, and to manage your risk or condition, seek out the services of a cardiovascular specialist for proper care. DVT is one medical condition that carries serious life-threatening risks, and it’s better to err on the safe side.
How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?
Deep vein thrombosis is treated with anticoagulant medications, also known as blood thinners. These medications prevent the clot from getting larger and help to dissolve it over time. Compression stockings also help improve symptoms of DVT. In some cases, a vena cava (IVC) filter may be placed in the vena cava (the large vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart) to catch any clots that break loose and travel toward the lungs. Surgical thrombectomy may be necessary to remove a large clot or one that does not respond to medication.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment in Boca Raton, FL
The cardiology physicians at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute routinely treat patients with venous conditions in our vein clinic. We perform vascular testing and treatments on-site for your convenience. We are a well-equipped, hygienic, and relaxing health care facility with a compassionate, patient-centric approach. To schedule a consultation with one of our cardiovascular specialists, call our office today at (561) 235-5621 or use our convenient appointment request form.