What Are the Basics of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

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How to define deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood clots form in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can be life-threatening, because blood clots in your veins can break, travelling through bloodstream and lodging in your lungs. Certain medical conditions may lead to deep vein thrombosis. DVT can also lead to several health problems, such as pulmonary embolism, postphlebitic syndrome, etc.  

What causes deep vein thrombosis?

Many factors can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which include:
  • Prolonged bed rest, such as during a long hospital stay, or paralysis.
  • Smoking
  • Injury or surgery
  • Cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Family history of deep vein thrombosis

What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?

In mild cases of deep vein thrombosis, signs and symptoms can include:
  • Swelling in one or both legs <!--nextpage-->
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs
  • Red or discolored skin on your leg
  • Swollen, red and hard veins
  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg
In severe cases of deep vein thrombosis, signs and symptoms can include:
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Severe lightheadedness
  • Pain when breathing
  • Sharp chest pain or chest tightness
  • Sudden coughing with blood

How to diagnose deep vein thrombosis?

Besides the conventional physical exam, you may also need other tests to rule out other problems or to confirm the diagnosis. D-Dimer Test D-dimer may appear in your blood when a clot starts to break down. If you have a clot, levels will be high. Duplex Ultrasound Spread warm gel on your skin and then rubs a wand over the area where the clot could be. The wand can send sound waves and make pictures of your blood vessels and sometimes the blood clots. Magnetic Resonance Imaging ( MRI ) Radio waves and a strong magnetic field can make detailed pictures of the inside of your body on a computer, thus finding DVT in your pelvis and thigh. <!--nextpage--> Venography Venography is more accurate than an ultrasound. Inject a radioactive dye into a vein on the top of your foot to see the veins or maybe a clot.  

How to treat deep vein thrombosis?

Common treatments for deep vein thrombosis may include: Blood Thinners Blood thinners, also called anticoagulants, can be injected or taken as pills. These kind of drugs usually include Heparin, Enoxaparin (Lovenox), Dalteparin (Fragmin), Fondaparinux (Arixtra), etc. Clot Busters It is given either through an IV or through a catheter placed directly into the clot, they can cause serious bleeding, so they are only used in more severe cases of deep vein thrombosis. Compression Stockings Wear compression stockings on your legs from your feet to about the level of your knees to prevent swelling associated with DVT. Filters Have a filter inserted into a large vein - the vena cava - in your abdomen, thus preventing clots that break loose from lodging in your lungs. Keywords: deep vein thrombosis; deep vein thrombosis dvt; deep vein thrombosis causes; deep vein thrombosis causes symptoms; deep vein thrombosis diagnosis; deep vein thrombosis diagnosis treatment; diagnosing deep vein thrombosis; deep vein thrombosis medications; deep vein thrombosis legs; deep vein thrombosis leg pain; deep vein thrombosis signs; are symptoms deep vein thrombosis; are symptoms deep vein thrombosis; deep vein thrombosis symptoms; signs symptoms deep vein thrombosis; symptoms deep pain thrombosis; symptoms deep vein thrombosis; deep vein thrombosis symptoms treatment; deep vein thrombosis treatment options; deep vein thrombosis treatment; treat deep vein thrombosis; treating deep vein thrombosis; treatments deep vein thrombosis; treatment deep vein thrombosis; deep venous thrombosis+; deep venous thrombosis