What is deep vein thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis is when a clot or thrombus occurs in the deep veins, usually in the legs. This problem can be very dangerous.
Clots can break off, travel to the lung, and cause death.
Deep vein thrombosis symptoms
The most common symptoms are pain and swelling in the thighs, legs, and feet, but redness, increased temperature, purplish coloration, or the appearance of varicose veins can also occur. Pulmonary symptoms (chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, tachycardia) may also be observed.
Venous thrombosis can occur when you spend long periods sitting or not moving, such as when you take long trips or when there are other illnesses, surgeries, or accidents. Some patients develop DVT due to blood abnormalities that form clots.
The severity of DVT lies in the high probability that a clot in the legs will break free, travel to the lung, and block its arteries.
The most important risk factors are age (<60 years), lack of mobility, injury or surgery, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, overweight, smoking, cancer, history of DVT, and genetic abnormalities.
Deep vein thrombosis treatment
The goal of DVT treatment is to prevent the clot from growing further and from breaking loose and traveling to the lungs. Anticoagulants are the pillar of treatment, which should be started as soon as DVT is diagnosed. In patients in whom anticoagulants cannot be given, the placement of filters in the inferior vena cava is considered to prevent clots from reaching the lungs.
In severe cases or with a high risk of complications in the short and long term, the dissolution of the clot should be considered with drugs called thrombolytics, with or without mechanical help to break them.
There are two main DVT complications: massive pulmonary thromboembolism and post-thrombotic syndrome, a condition in which the legs’ veins condition leaves many aftereffects that significantly affect quality of life.
At the Cardiovascular Center, we offer you a wide range of diagnoses, timely treatment, and follow-up services to take care of your arteries and veins.
Dr. Claudio Alberto Ramírez Cerda – Vascular and Endovascular Surgery specialist at ABC Medical Center.