When your blood develops a clot that is located in one of the deep veins of your leg or arm, the condition is called deep vein thrombosis. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is considered a serious condition because of the potential for part of the clot to break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
To find out everything you need to know about deep vein thrombosis, the professionals in Gilvydis Vein Clinic can consult with you if you are at increased risk or believe you may already be suffering from the condition.
Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Although a DVT does not always present with symptoms, the most common signs are a pain in the leg, particularly in the calf, with swelling and warmth. The pain is sometimes described as similar to a cramp in the calf, but instead of improving with time, the symptoms of a DVT typically become worse. Waiting to see if the symptoms resolve on their own can be dangerous, as a blood clot can become mobile and migrate to the lungs.
This is called a pulmonary embolism and can be life-threatening. Signs of a pulmonary embolism include rapid heartbeat, suddenly developed cough or coughing up blood, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Not all cases of deep vein thrombosis can be prevented since a DVT can occur due to bed rest after surgery or after an injury that causes prolonged sitting. Some risk factors make a DVT more likely to happen, so to reduce the chance for one to occur, it is recommended to take preventative measures. Although some of these risk factors cannot be changed by altering lifestyle factors, regular monitoring can help catch an issue early enough to decrease the likelihood of blood clot migration. Individuals with a history of vein or circulation issues could benefit from a baseline of vein mapping to look for changes if symptoms are felt.
- Hormones. Hormone replacement and hormonal birth control increase the chance of a blood clot.
- Pregnancy. Hormonal changes and excess pressure increase risk.
- Smoking. Since smoking affects blood circulation, smokers are at increased risk of clots.
- Genetics. Some genetic mutations have been linked to risk, so those with these mutations need extra precautions.
- Weight issues. Obesity can cause blood circulation issues and increased risk.
- Other vein issues. Individuals with varicose veins or other vein problems could have circulation issues in general.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment
Once a DVT occurs, it is vital for treatment to begin immediately to prevent blood clot migration. A vein clinic can review your symptoms and then use specialized ultrasound mapping to determine if a clot is present. If a DVT diagnosis is made, a physician will typically prescribe blood thinners to prevent the clot from getting any bigger or for more clots to develop.
Treatment can help to lower the potential for a pulmonary embolism. Some severe cases are treated with clot-busting medications or surgery. Regular vein mapping can determine if the clot is stable, especially since pain or swelling symptoms can linger after the immediate threat has passed.
Schedule a Consultation with Gilvydis Vein Clinic Today!
If you have any questions about deep vein thrombosis prevention, signs, treatment options, or if you are concerned about your risk of DVT, contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic today to schedule a consultation. The vein clinic professionals can assess your vein anatomy, complete a thorough mapping of your veins, and address any vein concern you have. If an issue is found, an immediate plan of treatment can begin. Learning more about deep vein thrombosis can aid in the prevention and early diagnosis of the condition, which is important for the risk reduction and prompt treatment if a blood clot forms.
Image Credit: Getty Images / Piyapong Thongcharoen