wedding-ready-537832-mAbout two million Americans a year are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a blood clot that forms in one ore more of the deep veins in the body, typically in the legs or thighs.

DVT can cause leg pain or swelling, but it may not cause any symptoms. DVT can be the result of certain medical conditions that affect blood clotting or an accident. It can be treated with medications or minimally-invasive procedures.

What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)  is when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body. DVT typically occurs in the lower legs or the thighs. It is a serious condition because the blood clots it creates can break loose. When they break loose, they can travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs, blocking blood flow

Although DVT may not always present symptoms, when they are apparent they include:

  • Swelling of the leg
  • Pain in the leg
  • Tenderness in the leg
  • Increased warmth in the area of the leg that’s swollen or in pain
  • Red or discolored skin on the leg

Some factors can increase your risk of developing DVT such as:

  • Blood-clotting disorders
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Injury or surgery
  • Pregnancy and the first six weeks after giving birth
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Being over 60
  • Sitting for long periods of time

How can deep vein thrombosis (DVT) be treated?

wedding-ready-537832-mThe treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is aimed at preventing the blood clot from getting bigger, preventing the blood clot from breaking loose and reducing the chances that another blood clot forms.

A vascular specialist will likely begin by discussing blood thinners as a treatment plan. While blood thinners don’t break up existing blood clots, they can prevent blood clots from getting bigger and decrease the risk of another blood clot developing.

In a life-threatening situation, a clot buster may be used. These drugs, called tissue plasminogen activators, are administered through an IV.

Another option that your vascular specialist may discuss with you is compression stockings. Compression stockings help prevent swelling and reduce the changes that blood will clot and pool.

If you can’t take blood thinners or if blood clots form despite blood thinners, one treatment options may be filters. A filter will be inserted inside a large vein called a vena cava, which is located in the abdomen. This prevents clots that have broken loose from lodging in the lungs, but it does not prevent new blood clots from forming.

How can I prevent deep vein thrombosis( DVT)?

There are steps you can take to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You can help prevent DVT by taking preventive measures such as:

  • Take medications as prescribed by your doctor
  • Avoiding sitting still
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Get regular exercise
  • During long trips, drink plenty of fluids and walk around every hour

Who is At Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis? 

Frequently Asked Questions About Deep Vein Thrombosis

This information is just for educational purposes. If you are concerned about deep vein thrombosis or any of the symptoms above, you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible. 

Regular physical activity is recommended, but certain exercises can aid in improving circulation and reducing the risk of DVT. These may include calf raises, ankle circles, and leg lifts. Consulting a healthcare professional or physiotherapist for personalized exercise recommendations is advised.

While no specific diet guarantees prevention, maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and ensuring adequate hydration can contribute to overall vascular health. Some studies suggest that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, may have benefits for blood circulation.

While DVT most commonly occurs in the lower extremities, it can also develop in other deep veins, such as the arms. Understanding the potential sites of DVT formation is essential for early detection and appropriate medical intervention.

Certain hormonal contraceptives, particularly those containing estrogen, can increase the risk of blood clots, including DVT. Women using birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives should discuss the potential risks with their healthcare provider.

Some individuals may explore complementary therapies or alternative treatments, such as herbal supplements or acupuncture, to support conventional medical care for DVT. However, consult a healthcare professional before incorporating these approaches, as they may interact with prescribed medications or have varying effects on clotting.

A complication of DVT is a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs. Symptoms may include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain that worsens with deep breathing or coughing, rapid heartbeat, and coughing up blood. Immediate medical attention is necessary if these symptoms arise.

If you think that you are suffering from deep vein thrombosis or would like to learn more about treatment or prevention options for deep vein thrombosis,  call 407.648.4323 or click here to schedule your appointment request with a vascular specialist.

Our Physicians
Request an Appointment