DVT stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as Deep Thrombophlebitis. This is the term for a blood clot (thrombus) found in a deep vein, often in a leg vein. Deep veins are the veins near the bones that are surrounded by muscle. These veins lie deeper under the skin and return more blood to the heart than surface (superficial) veins.
One risk factor for DVT is the presence of untreated varicose veins. Other risk factors include immobility, downtime from surgery, trauma, cancer and genetic clotting disorders.
Blood clots with inflammation in superficial veins (called superficial thrombophlebitis or phlebitis) rarely cause serious problems. But clots in deep veins (Deep Thrombophlebitis) require immediate medical care.
These clots are dangerous when they dislodge, travel to the lungs, and block blood flow. This is called pulmonary embolism, and it can be fatal. DVT can also lead to ongoing problems if it damages a vein. It can also lead to leg sores years later.
Blood clots can form in your body’s deep veins when damage occurs to a vein’s inner lining, if blood flow is sluggish or if your blood is thicker or more likely to clot than usual.
Clots can form if you are inactive, such as when you are bedridden or must sit a long while. Surgery or injury can damage your blood vessels and cause clots. Cancer can also cause deep vein thrombosis. Some people have blood that clots too easily, an inherited problem.
Deep vein thrombosis symptoms include swelling, warmth and redness or pinkness. A calf or thigh may ache and feel tender to the touch.
If a blood clot is small, it may not cause any symptoms. In some cases, pulmonary embolism is the first sign that that there was DVT.
DVT is diagnosed with a noninvasive ultrasound of the veins. A doppler ultrasound test measures the blood flow through veins and identifies any clots.
Deep vein thrombosis treatment begins immediately to prevent pulmonary embolism or the clot growing in size.
Deep vein thrombosis treatment usually involves prescription blood thinners. Heparin is given through a vein (intravenously, or IV) or as an injection. Warfarin is a pill.
You will have blood tests often so your physician can determine the effectiveness of the medications on your clots.
Your doctor also may recommend that you elevate your leg, use a heating pad, exercise and compression socks. These can alleviate pain and swelling.
In rare cases, a vena cava filter may be used in the large vein that returns blood to the heart from the abdomen and legs. A vena cava filter helps prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs.
Your life is in the Wright hands. Contact vein expert Dr. Thomas Wright for more information on your Deep vein thrombosis treatment options today. DVT is a serious condition where every heartbeat counts. Don’t delay- if you’re experiencing deep vein thrombosis symptoms, call 636.614.1665 today!
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I am thrilled with the looks of my legs now. They look so much better and I am not so embarrassed by those ugly veins. Everyone in the office is so nice from the front desk to the doctor and nurses. I always look forward to my appointments.