Deep Vein Thrombosis: What is it and How to Prevent it?

By Ron E Lev MD – Follow me on +

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a potentially serious condition of the vascular system. It occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs. The blood clots may break loose and travel to vital organs of the body, particularly the lungs, where they can lead to a life-threatening condition known as a pulmonary embolism. For this reason, it is important to treat DVT as soon as it is detected, to prevent serious complications from the condition.

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Common symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include:

• Swelling of the affected leg, especially around the lower leg and foot
• Pain in the affected leg when walking or standing
• Redness and a feeling of warmth around the affected area
• Changes in skin color, which may alter from red or blue to very pale

If these symptoms appear, it is important to seek medical help right away, before a more serious condition occurs. However, in some cases, deep vein thrombosis is not accompanied by any symptoms, which can make the condition difficult to detect.

Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Because DVT is not always accompanied by visible symptoms, it is important to know when this condition is most likely to occur so that you can be on the lookout for possible problems. DVT may occur after any major surgery, particularly those procedures involving the lower legs. DVT is also more common in patients who smoke, are obese or have a history of venous disorders. It is also seen more frequently in women who are pregnant or are taking hormones.

Making a Diagnosis
The most common method for diagnosing DVT is through an ultrasound examination. This test is non-invasive and painless, but may not be as effective for finding blood clots in the deepest veins of the body. In these situations, a venography may be a more accurate diagnostic tool. This test involves a special x-ray and radioactive dye that reveals blood clots in the deepest veins. Although the test is more accurate than ultrasound, it also carries an increased risk for the formation of additional blood clots, which is why it is typically reserved as a last resort for detecting DVT.

Once DVT is diagnosed, it must be treated to reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism and other complications. DVT is most commonly treated through the administration of blood thinning medication that effectively dissolves the clot over time. More serious conditions may require other medications that may be given through an IV to ensure faster results.

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition that requires fast attention to reduce risk. If you are concerned about the possibility of DVT, contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan today for a comprehensive evaluation of your condition.

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