What is DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)?
What is DVT?
DVT or deep vein thrombosis is a condition characterized by blood clot in the veins, usually those running in the legs. These clots can form in superficial veins, that is, veins that are right under the skin’s surface, or in the deep veins, that is those that are deeply embedded within the body. Blood clots that form in the superficial veins rarely ever cause any severe serious issues. However, those in the deep veins may require immediate medical attention, as they can be a cause of serious concern.
The primary reason why these clots can prove to be hazardous is that these clots have the potential of breaking loose and travelling through the bloodstream to the lungs, where they can cause a blockage in the blood flow, called pulmonary embolism.
The major cause leading to these blood clots and hence DVT is inactivity. These clots formulate in areas that are inactive, and since DVT is closely linked to the legs, DVT is more common among those who are paralyzed or bed ridden. Furthermore, even surgeries can damage the blood vessels and lead to clot formation.
Symptoms of DVT
The symptoms of DVT are not that severe in nature and do not appear all that often. When symptoms do occur, they include the following:
- Tenderness or pain
Most times, pulmonary embolism which is a condition whereby the arteries in the lungs get blocked off blood supply tends to precede DVT. Pulmonary embolism is primarily caused by blood clots in the veins pertaining to the legs. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart racing
- Chest pains
Treatment of DVT
The treatment for DVT focuses on preventing blood clots from becoming larger, preventing the condition of pulmonary embolism from formulating, preventing postthrombotic syndrome and preventing the recurrence of blood clots.
Once you start experiencing the symptoms that seem to be similar to that of DVT’s, make sure to get your tests done to recognize any blood clots in the veins of your legs for confirmation. Even if a blood clot is discovered in your lung, get tested for DVT, as pulmonary embolism is a major cause and symptom of DVT.
DVT is most usually treated with the help of anticoagulant medications. Heparin and warfarin happen to be the two most effective medicines falling in this category. If you have a blood clot around the calf area, you may be advised by your doctor to continue medication for over 3 months. However, this will only be the case if the blood clot is growing, which can be concluded within 24 to 32 hours of the condition’s initial emergence.
Taking walks, wearing compression stockings and elevating the leg moving it around whenever possible in subtle ways can also help alleviate symptoms of DVT such as those of swelling in the leg and severe pains.