Deep Vein Thrombosis
What is deep vein thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which the blood clots or forms a thrombus in one of the deep veins in your body. This occurs primarily in the lower extremities.
Risk factors include:
- Stagnation e.g. traveling by plane or car for over three hours
- Lying in bed for hours e.g. post surgery recovery
- A change in blood chemistry e.g. taking hormones, certain prescriptions or having transfusions during surgery
- Trauma e.g. a car accident or broken bone
- Genetic blood clotting disorders
Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition because a blood clot that has formed in your vein can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow which (referred to as a pulmonary embolism). Every year, approximately 2 million people will develop deep vein thrombosis and around 200,000 of them die. DVT kills more people than aids, breast cancer and motor vehicle accidents combined.
What are the symptoms?
DVT can occur without any noticeable symptoms. This makes it even more important to understand the risk factors and prevent the development of DVT in the first place.
Talk to a doctor immediately if you had any risk factors and experience the following:
- Swelling in the affected leg
- Pain in the affected leg (it often starts in the calf and can feel like cramping)
- Discolored skin on the leg
- A warm sensation in the affected leg
The symptoms and warning signs of a pulmonary embolism include:
- Rapid pulse
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain that worsens when taking a deep breath or coughing
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting
How are they treated?
Quick, effective outpatient visits treat the root cause, not just the symptoms.
Detection of DVT is most commonly done by having a color duplex ultrasound. It is important that this be done by a qualified sonographer or technologist. Different organizations have different quality standards when it comes to venous imaging, but the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) has the highest standard for vascular testing. The Vein Center of Arizona performs testing according to the standards set forth by the IAC and only employs highly experienced Registered Vascular Technologists.
Treatment options include compression stocking therapy, prescription of blood thinners or clot busters, and possibly the insertion of a filter into a large vein in your abdomen.
The Vein Center of Arizona offers patients a wide variety of treatment options:
Comprehensive Treatment Plan
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Endovenous Laser Treatment