DVT: Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatment

Vein disease exists in a variety of forms that can deeply impact your overall health. One of the most dangerous forms of vein disease is deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT. This serious condition is characterized by a blood clot that forms inside one of your deep veins in the body. The blood solidifies in the vein, causing potential harm. Most cases of DVT are observed to occur in the leg, more specifically the thigh or lower leg area. DVT may also be known as postphlebitic syndrome, post-thrombotic syndrome, and thromboembolism. Understanding more about DVT can help you better deal with this potentially fatal condition. Specifically, we encourage our patients to become familiar with the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment for DVT.

Risk Factors of DVT

As mentioned, DVT occurs when a blood clot has formed within your deep veins. This blood clot can interfere with the vein’s blood flow, preventing blood from reaching other areas of the body. This blood clotting can be the direct results of a few different factors.

Inactivity – One of the biggest risk factors associated with DVT is frequent inactivity. When you have been sitting frequently, the blood can start to pool inside your legs. Over time, this will cause blood flow in the legs to slow down, causing clots to start developing. Individuals with office or desk jobs can be at the biggest risk for this factor.

Surgery or Injury – Another primary risk factor for DVT is when your blood vessel or vein has sustained significant injury. Any direct injury can cause the vein wall to become narrow, resulting in reduced blood flow; blood clots are also formed from direct injury. Individuals can receive unwanted injury during surgery. Blood clots may also form if you are on extended bed rest with little movement.

Medication – The final primary risk factor we see for DVT is medication. Certain medications can causey your blood to thicken, resulting in increased risk of blood clots.

Symptoms of DVT

Blood clots in your veins can be difficult to track down but you will experience symptoms of deep vein thrombosis early on. Specifically, certain symptoms are commonly observed for individuals diagnosed with DVT and impact areas of blood flow. The most common symptoms typically include swelling around your foot and ankle. The swelling is observed on one side of the lower leg. This can also begin to cause cramping and severe pain in the impacted area. Another common symptom can be a warming sensation in the surrounding areas and red or blue discoloration.

Deep vein thrombosis can also impact other areas of the body such as the arms. Symptoms of this type of DVT include pain in the shoulder or neck. Swelling can also be seen in your arm or hand on the side impacted by the blood clot. Blueish color skin is common along with pain that can be felt moving up the arm. Overall, individuals with DVT in the arm typically experience weakness in their hand impacted by the blood clot. Treating these symptoms early is critical to avoid potential life-threatening complications such as blood clots found in the lungs.

Treatment for DVT

As you can see with the risk factors and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, it is a very serious health risk. Treatment for DVT is recommended as early as possible so you can avoid lethal developments such as a pulmonary embolism. Fortunately, the earlier you seek out treatment the better off you will be. Our treatments will focus on preventing the blood clot from growing or removing it completely. Here are some recommended treatments typical for DVT:

Medication – For less severe cases of DVT, you can expect to be prescribed medication to help prevent blood clots from growing. Specifically, the medication will work by thinning out the blood, making clots harder to form. Typical medication often includes heparin, enoxaparin, and warfarin. More severe cases may not respond to blood thinners and require further treatment.

Compression Stockings – By wearing compression stockings, you can prevent the swelling seen from DVT. These are worn below the knee and may help prevent blood clots from forming.

Blood Filters – Some individuals may not be able to take blood thinning medication. If that is the case, blood filters may be recommended. A filter is placed in the abdominal vein to make sure blood clots do not reach your lungs. These filters are recommended as a short-term solution and need to be removed eventually.

Surgical Treatments – More severe cases of DVT may require a surgical treatment to remove the blood clot. We offer state of the art laser treatment that will completely get rid of your blood clot while boasting a quick and easy recovery time.

We Take Your Vein Health Seriously

Each treatment takes into consideration your personal history so you can expect a successful treatment with the Laser Vein Center. Contact us today for a consultation if you think you might be suffering from any vein issues!