Deep Vein Thrombosis also referred to as DVT is a venous complication that involves a blood clot (thrombus) forming in a deep vein in your body. DVT typically affects a deep vein in a leg running through the thigh and calf muscles of one of your legs.
DVT is a complicated vein problem that may develop due to a number of factors such as medical conditions affecting how your blood clots; or prolonged immobility, like when confined to bed following an accident or surgery.
Symptoms of DVT
If you have deep vein thrombosis, you may not necessarily experience any pain or discomfort. However, most people report feeling:
- A strong ache around the affected spot
- Warm sensation in area around the clot
- Swelling, pain, and tenderness around the calf
- Red skin below your knee
- Intense pain when bending the foot upwards towards the knee
If left untouched, DVT can lead to even more serious complications such as pulmonary embolism, which is a result of a piece of the blood clot in the leg vein breaking off and traveling in the bloodstream and lodging in the blood vessels in the lungs.
If pulmonary embolism develops, you may experience other symptoms like:
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Chest pain or discomfort that intensifies when coughing or taking a deep breath
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid pulse
Pulmonary embolism affects about 10 percent of the people who delay treatment for deep vein thrombosis. So it is important that you visit a vein specialist at the Center for Vein Wellness as soon as you notice signs of DVT.
Treatment for deep vein thrombosis
If you suspect that your symptoms are due to deep vein thrombosis, Dr. Shah will perform a few tests to ascertain that. A D-dimer specialized blood test may be necessary to check for the presence of broken blood clots in your bloodstream. If you have recently had a surgical procedure, injury, or pregnancy, other tests may be necessary, like a Doppler ultrasound or a venogram.
If detected, you will have to take anticoagulant medicine to prevent your blood from clotting and making any existing clots bigger. Dr. Shah will also help you devise a strategy to prevent DVT from occurring again.
To learn more about deep vein thrombosis, please visit the Center for Vein Wellness.