DVT is a serious condition in which a blood clot (blockage) develops in a deep vein. These clots occur most commonly in the veins of the legs. DVT can be very dangerous and is considered a medical emergency.
If the clot breaks free, it can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs. This can make it very difficult to breath and may even cause death.
Many factors can contribute to the formation of a blood clot. Some of these include:
- Previous DVT
- Varicose veins
- Blood clotting disorders
- Family history of blood clots
- Heart disease
- Chronic leg swelling
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills
- Pregnancy or recent child birth
- Age over 40
- Immobility, such as use of a cast or after a long flight
- Recent surgery or trauma
Symptoms may include swelling in one leg, pain in the calf or thigh and/ or warmth and redness of the leg.
What to Expect When You See the Doctor
Diagnosis can be challenging with no symptoms however if symptoms are present urgent evaluation with Ultrasound is recommended.
If a clot is detected treatment may include medications to thin the blood, compression stockings, or rarely surgery.
Complications may result immediately from the clot which include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood or a feeling of impending doom. Long term consequences are the result of permanent damage to the veins and may include persistent swelling, pain, ulcers or leg discoloration.
How to Prevent a Blood Clot
For those at risk there are strategies to reduce the risk of clot formation. These may include taking a blood thinner prescribed by your doctor, smoking cessation, weight loss, leg exercises, staying hydrated and wearing compression garments during periods of immobility.
We Can Help!
Are you suffering from DVT? We have years of experience treating this condition and would be happy to help. Contact us or book an appointment today.