Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) develops when your blood thickens until it forms a solid clump, or clot, inside a vein deep below the surface of your skin. Although DVT can occur in any deep vein of your body, it usually affects larger deep veins in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis.
DVT typically occurs when blood flow becomes very slow. It may happen after an intense period of stillness or inactivity, such as a long flight or recovery from a major surgery. Factors that can increase your risk of DVT include:
Higher-than-normal estrogen levels can also trigger DVT. This risk factor can be a product of hormonal birth control medications, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat menopause, or even pregnancy.
Sometimes, DVT comes from lingering vein damage caused by a previous blood clot, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), or a catheter, such as those used in dialysis.
DVT is often a silent problem, meaning it can develop without any noticeable warning signs or symptoms. When DVT does cause symptoms, they may include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, call Advanced Vascular & Vein Associates to schedule a prompt evaluation and diagnosis.
When DVT goes undetected and untreated, it can give rise to a range of interrelated problems, including:
DVT clots can also break off, travel to your lungs, and cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE) or blockage in your heart.
Prompt evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment are of utmost importance whenever you suspect you have DVT, as newly formed clots are more likely to break away, travel through your blood vessels, and possibly endanger your life.
Fortunately, DVT is highly treatable — and its risky complications are readily preventable — with early detection and ongoing care. Most cases respond well to anticoagulant medications (blood thinners), which keep deep vein clots from growing larger and, over time, help reduce their size and consistency.
To learn more about all the DVT treatment options available at Advanced Vascular & Vein Associates, call the office, or schedule an appointment online today.