Understanding the Dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious condition that affects millions of people each year. Fortunately, with the proper vein treatment, complications of DVT can be prevented.
What is DVT?
DVT occurs when a blood clot develops within a vein located deep inside the body, obstructing the flow of blood. This condition can occur anywhere in the body, but it is most common in the leg. If DVT isn’t properly treated, pulmonary embolism can occur. With pulmonary embolism, the blood clot breaks free, travels through the veins and blocks blood flow in the lungs. This condition can be fatal.
The symptoms of DVT may vary. However, some of the most common symptoms include aching, swelling, cramps and tenderness. In some cases, DVT can occur without producing any symptoms. If DVT is left untreated for a significant amount of time, another complication known as “post-thrombotic syndrome” can occur. This condition is characterized by pain, itching, heaviness, tingling, ulcer, discoloration, varicose veins and swelling.
Treatment for DVT
When vein doctors discover DVT, they can treat it using a technique known as “thrombolytic therapy.” This treatment utilizes an injection of clot-dissolving medication, which breaks down the clot and restores the healthy flow of blood. This medication may flow through the blood vessels, or vascular surgeons may deliver the medication directly to the clot using a catheter. Some catheters used for this purpose also include attachments that help to break up the clot mechanically.
If DVT progresses to post-thrombotic syndrome, additional treatments may be necessary. For example, if the clot leads to the development of varicose veins, varicose vein treatment may be used to alleviate the symptoms.
What Should I Do if I Have DVT?
If you have been experiencing the symptoms of DVT, or if you have other reasons to believe that you may have a blood clot deep in your veins, you need to seek treatment from a vein clinic immediately. Please contact St. Louis Vein & Endovascular to make an appointment with an experienced vein doctor.