Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

When circulation becomes poor in the legs due to failing venous valves, blood begins to pool and can no longer return to the heart. Conditions such as spider veins and varicose veins can become obvious as a result of surface vein malfunctions. Some much more serious problems occur, however, when blood cells begin to form clumps in the vein, creating blood clots. A deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in the extremities. The danger lies in the possibility that the clot can travel back through the circulatory system and clog the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism and possibly death.

Causes of DVT

Deep vein thrombosis can occur for several reasons, including:

  • Old age
  • Sitting for long periods
  • Injury or trauma
  • Certain medications
  • Active cancer, obesity, or renal disease
  • Family history of clotting disorders
  • Smoking
  • Catheters placed in a vein due to a previous medical procedure

Additionally, DVT is a major complication that can occur from surgery, especially procedures in the lower extremities such as joint replacement.

Possible Symptoms

While the signs can show through the appearance of other circulatory problems, not all deep vein thrombosis reveal symptoms specific to itself. If you feel the following symptoms, then it may be wise to seek medical assistance:

  • Sudden onset of unusual swelling in one leg
  • Pain in the calf or thigh without a known injury
  • An area of skin that is warm, tight, or red
  • Varicose veins that become inflamed, firm, and tender

Most people don’t realize they have had DVT or don’t seek medical attention until damage has already occurred. Once you become aware of DVT, it is very important to prevent its recurrence, as further blockage of vital veins and arteries can be life-threatening. The earlier you are treated, the more likely you are to recover completely. Talk to your doctor about additional complications that may arise because of vein damage and to take advantage of preventative care.

Modes of Treatment for DVT

At Heart of Dixie Vein & Vascular Center, we use ultrasound to examine veins deep within the legs to identify any clots that may have formed. If a blood clot is discovered, we recommend several treatment options to reduce the chances of a deep vein thrombosis clot from causing additional problems. These include the latest and safest medications, which rarely require hospitalization or frequent monitoring. We may also recommend many other simpler remedies, such as compression stockings, and offer advice on exercises you can perform to keep your circulatory system flowing strong.