Deep Vein Thrombosis, abbreviated as DVT, refers to the medical emergency that occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein that is located deep inside the human body. Although the blood clot, which is a solidified clump of blood, can form anywhere inside the body, it is most commonly known to occur in the thighs or the lower leg region.
DVT is a serious condition that may turn fatal in case of delay or absence of immediate medical care. In medical terms, DVT is also referred to as thromboembolism, post-phlebitic syndrome, and post-thrombotic syndrome.
Symptoms of DVT
There are a few prevalent symptoms that you can use to self-diagnose DVT and visit a vascular expert for diagnosis and treatment. Following are the most common DVT symptoms:
- Swelling in the leg, ankle, or foot, generally on one side
- Severe pain in the affected area of the leg that mostly begins from the calf
- Unbearable and unexplained pain in the foot and/or ankle
- A section of the skin surface that feels warmer than the surroundings
- The skin of the affected area turns pale, reddish, or bluish in color
For patients who develop a blood clot in the upper half of the body, say for instance a blood clot in the arms, they may experience the below mentioned symptoms:
- Extreme pain in the neck
- Severe shoulder pain
- Sudden swelling in the affected arm or the hand
- Skin color changes to bluish-red
- Pain that feels to move from the arm to the forearm
- Weakness in the hand and inability to hold something firmly
Causes of DVT
The main cause of DVT is a blood clot in the bloodstream that restricts the desired blood circulation in the body. Blood clotting can occur due to one or more of the reasons detailed below:
- Injury – An accident or injury that causes damage to the walls of a blood vessel or narrows it down thus leading to poor blood circulation. This can eventually lead to blood clots and DVT.
- Surgery – At times, one or more blood vessel may get damaged during surgery and this can lead to the formation of a blood clot. For a few patients, suggested bed rest after surgery also leads to DVT.
- Sedentary Lifestyle – Poor mobility or a state of inactivity for extended time durations can slow down the blood flow in the lower regions of the leg and this can cause deep vein blood clots.
- Side-Effects of Medicines – Certain medications are known to increase the probability of blood clotting.
Risk Factors of DVT
Although people over 50 years of age are more probable to suffer from DVT, DVT can occur to people at any age. Any factors that hinder the blood flow and restrict the ideal blood circulation are high-risk factors of DVT. Let us address a few of them below:
- Any injury that damages the veins, like for instance a bone fracture
- Being overweight and/or obese as excessive body weight leads to additional pressure on the veins in the legs
- Hereditary blood clotting disorders
- Having a family history of blood clots or DVT
- Having a catheter placed inside a vein
- Consuming birth control pills
- Undergoing a hormone therapy
- Remaining seated during long flights, car journey, or at work
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Heart failure as it makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood
- Varicose Veins
Treatment for DVT
The most basic form of treatment is blood thinning oral medications. These medicines restrict the blood from clotting and thus reduce the chances of new blood clot formations.
In a few cases of DVT, the doctor might advise the patient to get intravenous thrombolytic drugs that break up the existing blood clots. Wearing compression stockings also helps reduce the swelling and probability of developing new blood clots by regulating the blood flow.
Surgical procedures to remove a DVT clot from your arms or legs are suggested when the clot is too big and is causing serious medical issues like tissue damage, etc. In the surgical process, the vascular expert uses ultrasound scans to accurately locate the clot and then removes it by making an incision into the blood vessel.
If you have a family or personal history of blood clots, always be mindful of the above mentioned DVT symptoms. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, consume a nutritious diet, and perform basic physical activities every day.
In case of an early sign of DVT, schedule a consultation with a vascular expert. Avis Hospitals has a team of exceptionally trained and truly experienced vascular interventional radiologists at its Hyderabad as well as Bangalore branch. Schedule an appointment today!