Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of your veins. The affected vein is usually deep inside a muscle in your leg, but it can happen in a vein anywhere in your body.
Let’s talk about what the risks and symptoms are of deep vein thrombosis, and where you can go for diagnosis and treatment.
Risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Certain medical conditions or medications that affect how your blood clots can make you more susceptible to developing deep vein thrombosis. This condition also tends to happen after being inactive for a period of time, such as sitting cross-legged while traveling, after being in an accident and being immobile for a while, or recovering from surgery and being confined to the bed.
The main danger of deep vein thrombosis lies in the possibility that the blood clot could break away and travel through your bloodstream to your lungs. This could block blood flow in an artery and result in a pulmonary embolism, which is life-threatening.
Signs of pulmonary embolism include chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, coughing up blood, and a rapid pulse. See a doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Another complication from deep vein thrombosis is postphlebitic syndrome, which causes damage to your veins from the blood clot reducing normal blood flow. Symptoms include leg pain and swelling, skin discoloration, and the development of sores.
Symptoms of DVT
Deep vein thrombosis doesn’t always cause symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they tend to include:
- Leg pain, cramping, or soreness
- A feeling of warmth in the leg
- Skin discoloration (the skin may turn red or brown)
If you have just recovered from an injury or surgery and were confined to a bed, or if you take medication that affects blood clotting, make an appointment with a primary care doctor. Even if you do not have any obvious symptoms, doctors can detect DVT in its early stages and provide effective treatment.
What Is the Treatment for This Condition?
The primary goal of treatment for deep vein thrombosis aims to prevent the clot from getting bigger and breaking loose. The secondary goal is to prevent more clots from occurring.
Treatment includes medication to break up the blood clot and prevent new ones from forming. Blood thinners or anticoagulants can perform both of these duties. If the blood thinners are not working quickly enough to break up the clot, your doctor may recommend thrombolytics – however, this intravenous treatment can cause heavy bleeding, so it is only recommended to those with severe clotting.
Doctors recommend keeping the legs in a raised position as a preventive measure, and wearing compression stockings throughout the day. If you are going on a long airplane trip or car ride, take breaks in which you walk around and stretch in order to foster proper circulation.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL
If you are experiencing symptoms of deep vein thrombosis or are concerned about your circulation, our vascular physicians here at Intercoastal Medical Group are experts in diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases affecting the arteries and veins of the vascular system. In Sarasota, Intercoastal Medical Group’s Cardiac & Vascular office is located at 965 S. Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34232; (941) 366-1888. In Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, call our Lakewood Ranch II cardiology specialists at (941) 362-8662. That office is located at 11715 Rangeland Parkway, Bradenton, FL 34211.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our vein doctors, call us today at the location near you or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you and being your healthcare partner!