What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

When a clot forms in the deep vein system it is called a Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT. DVTs usually occur in the lower extremities, but they can appear in other parts of the body.

The venous system of the lower extremity is divided into the superficial veins, which include the great and small saphenous veins and their associated accessory tributaries and the deep venous system, which includes the femoral and popliteal veins. Intermediate veins called perforators connect them.

DVT can lead to partial or complete blockage of circulation which can cause serious medical problems. Nearly 2 million Americans are affected by DVT each year.

Are There Symptoms?

Sometimes there are no warning signs or symptoms of DVT.

As much as 50% of patients with a DVT show no symptoms at all. These silent DVTs can resolve without treatment or may lead to complications such as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE).  A PE is a dangerous condition because it can damage the lungs and other organs and is life-threatening. 

Warning Signs of DVT

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Warmth
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis

See your doctor right away if you have a red, swollen or tender vein. Call 911 if you have any symptoms of shortness of breath, knife-like chest pain on inspiration, coughing up blood, or rapid heartbeat.

Treatment Overview

Your healthcare provider may order additional lab work and obtain imaging, including Duplex ultrasonography to better visualize and diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis, in conjunction with history-taking and physical exam. Depending on results, anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and compression stockings may be utilized for superficial thrombophlebitis. Anticoagulation (blood thinner) medication is utilized if there is a presence of an Acute DVT or if an SVT is showing evidence of encroaching on the deep venous system.

Region Vein Treatment Approach

At Region Vein, we understand the serious impact that Deep Vein Thrombosis has on our patients and their families. As underlying venous disease can play a significant role in the majority of patients who have been affected by DVT, we will collaborate with your referring physician to determine the best care plan for you.

How Much Do You Know About Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Did you know that nearly 2 Million Americans are affected by DVT each year? Or that up to 600,000 are hospitalized and 100,000 die each year from DVT/PE? To protect yourself, it’s important to know the facts about DVT and how to prevent it.

Download our Deep Vein Thrombosis Infographic (shown above) print it off and share it with your loved ones. Help us spread the word!

Risk Factors

Risk factors for DVT include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Obesity
  • Oral contraceptives/”birth control” pills
  • Long plane rides or car trips (usually longer than four hours)
  • Inactivity (sedentary lifestyle)
  • Heredity, Personal or Family History of DVT
  • Advanced Age (over 60)
  • Recent Surgery
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Active Cancer