Deep Vein Thrombosis
Formation of a blood clot in the deep veins of the body
Deep Vein Thrombosis in brief
Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT occurs most often in the deep veins of the legs and thighs. It’s a condition defined by blood clots, formed when blood thickens and clumps together.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is often connected to long periods of immobilisation such as may occur when resting in bed after surgery or during long haul plane flights (economy class syndrome).
Untreated DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism, a serious condition in which the blood clots break, travel through the blood circulation and lodge in the lung, blocking the blood flow. Other complications include PPS or Post-Phlebitis Syndrome, characterised by swelling, skin discolouration and pain the affected leg.
Causes & Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis
When you sit for long time, on an aeroplane for example, you may have an increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. This also applies if you have been forced to stay in bed for a longer period, at the hospital or at home.
Post-operative nerve injuries may cause Deep Vein Thrombosis as well.
Other causes include obesity, pregnancy, smoking, cancer and heart failure.
If one of your legs is affected by DVT, you may feel or notice some of the following symptoms:
- Pain or tenderness in your leg.
- Increased warmth over the affected area.
- Changes in skin colour.
Your doctor will check your legs for these symptoms, and will also verify your medical history, and potential test results from a D-dimer blood test, an ultrasound of the legs or CT/ MRI scan.
Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVT can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on your doctor’s diagnosis and your particular condition.
Blood thinners may be used to reduce your blood’s ability to clot. This type of medication prevents any clots from getting bigger. In more serious and life threatening situations, clot busters (thrombolytic agents) can be used to help break the clots.
Compression stockings can be prescribed or recommended, to help prevent blood clots from developing in the deep veins of the legs. The stockings create pressure and improve the blood flow in the legs.
Surgery can be needed as the last treatment option, when these conservative treatment options have failed to reduce the symptoms. It is the preferred treatment to remove large blood clots.
Experts in Vein Health
At The Vein Clinic Perth, Dr Luke Matar and his team can help you with compression stockings, and advice on how to manage conditions like Deep Vein Thrombosis. Dr Matar has a particular expertise in minimally invasive vein treatments, and uses his 20 years experience as a Radiologist to perform ultrasound assessments and ultrasound-guided procedures.
Contact The Vein Clinic today to book an appointment.