What is deep vein thrombosis? Also known as DVT, it is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside the body, typically in the legs. DVT usually develops in the calf and thigh, as opposed to the veins in the arm or pelvic region.
DVT is particularly dangerous because that clot could break loose and flow through the bloodstream to the lungs, blocking the flow of blood and causing a pulmonary embolism, a condition that is life-threatening. This condition can also result in damage to the vein or leg sores from prolonged, untreated DVT.
Symptoms associated with DVT include:
- Aching or swelling of one leg
- Warmth in one leg
- Discoloration of one leg
Some of the risk factors for developing DVT include:
- Prolonged bed rest
- Cigarette smoking
- Recent surgery
- Fractures of the legs or pelvis
- Heart failure
- Giving birth, although only for the first six months after giving birth
Treatment generally includes taking blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots from forming or to keep existing clots from increasing in size and potentially causing pulmonary embolism. This medication cannot, however, dissolve any clots already there.
While surgery is rarely needed, surgical procedures include:
- Removing the blood clot from the vein
- Placement of a filter to prevent a blood clot from traveling to the lungs
If you would like more information on this topic, our health library offers a wealth of medical information. If you feel that you might be exhibiting symptoms of this disorder then you should consult a physician immediately. For a free medical referral here in Hudson or the rest of the Treasure Coast, call Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point at 1-888-741-5119.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (WebMD)
Deep Venous Thrombosis (National Institute of Health)