Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body, usually in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling. Sometimes there are no noticeable symptoms
DVT can be caused by anything that causes clotting of the blood, it can be caused by the damage of veins during a surgery, or by inflammation or infection.
There are risk factors that lead to the development of DVT such as:Age, if you are 60 years or olderLack of physical activityInjury or surgery that damage the veinsPregnancy can cause higher pressure in the veins leading to DVTOral birth control pills or hormonal replacement therapyOverweight and obesity increase the pressure in the veins leading to DVT riskPersonal or family history of DVT increases your risk of developing DVT
The signs and symptoms of Deep venous thrombosis (DVT)can include:Leg swellingLeg pain, or cramping that usually starts in the calfChange in skin color on the leg A feeling of warmth on the affected legAlso sometimes DVT can occur without any symptomsDVT can cause pulmonary embolism which is a life threatening condition presenting with:Shortness of breathChest painFaintingRapid heart rateRapid breathingCoughing of blood
To diagnose DVT, your doctor will carefully review your medical history. You doctor may also order some tests such as:D-dimer blood test, which is a protein produced by clots, and can be high in people who have DVT.Duplex ultrasound can be ordered, which is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the blood flow in your veins and can detect blood clots, if present.The doctor can also order venography, which is a test that uses X-ray to take pictures of your veins using a dye that is injected in the veins. This can help detect and see clots.MRI, can be used to detect DVT in the veins of the belly
The treatment of DVT has some options which include:Blood thinners, which are medications that help prevent blood clots from forming and getting bigger. They reduce the risk of having new clots formed. They can be taken by mouth as pills or intravenously for faster response.Thrombolytics, which are basically “clot busters” and they are used for more serious types of DVT, or PE. They are usually given intravenously in people with severe blood clots.Filters can be used if you cannot take medicine that thin your blood, filters are usually placed in the vena cava, which is a large vein in the belly, and the filter will prevent the clots from travelling from the legs to the lungs.Compression stockings can also be used to prevent blood from pooling in the legs and reduce leg swellings.
Lifestyle changes can help preventing DVT, such as:Physical activity, always move your legs if you had a surgery, or you had long-distance travel. Don’t cross your legs while sitting, as this can increase the pressure in the veins leading to DVTDon’t smoke, as smoking increases the risk of DVTExercise and lose weight, as obesity and overweight are risk factors for DV