According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DVT affects roughly 900,000 people in the United States each year (CDC). However, it has the potential to be harmful to one's health.
A blood clot forms in a deep vein in the body, generally in the lower leg or thigh, causing DVT. If left untreated, the clot can break off and migrate through the bloodstream to a pulmonary artery, limiting blood flow and possibly resulting in death.
Even if a clot remains in the leg, it can cause difficulties. DVT can cause phlegmasia, which is a life-threatening condition.
Deep vein thrombosis can be difficult to detect because the symptoms are often confused with those of other diseases. Here are some DVT symptoms to look out for:
Swelling of the leg is the most prevalent sign.
Only one leg is usually affected.
The affected area is both painful and heated.
Rather than dissipating like a strained muscle, symptoms get worse with time.
Some of the superficial, smaller veins can be seen distended beneath the skin as they try to compensate and transfer blood around the blockage.
Consider whether you have any risk factors that make deep vein thrombosis a more likely cause of leg pain and edema. DVT is associated with the following risks:
A recent surgical procedure
Previous history of DVT.
Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy are examples of hormone drugs.
Cancer and/or cancer treatment
A disease or injury that has kept you from doing things for a long time.
Long-distance travel by automobile or plane
Obesity, smoking, and big varicose veins can all contribute to the condition. Although genetics may have a part, "the majority of blood clots are produced by 'provoked' or situational variables," according to the study. "This is why knowing your family history is vital, but it often plays a less impact than most people think.
Your vein doctor will most likely undertake a physical examination of the affected leg to check for pain and edema for suspected DVT. They will also feel for any knots, which could suggest a blood clot.
As you might expect, there are a variety of medical diseases that can cause pain and swelling, but a procedure called a duplex ultrasound is used to diagnose DVT.
An ultrasound is a diagnostic procedure that employs sound waves to produce images of the veins and arteries. This lets doctors look at the deep veins using non-radiation technology, which is completely safe for the patient.
If the ultrasound fails to reveal the problem, your doctor may request venography, which entails injecting dye into a vein in the affected leg to make it visible on an X-ray. A D-dimer test, a blood test that looks for a chemical released when a blood clot breaks up, can also detect signs of DVT.
If you've been diagnosed with DVT, rest assured that it's a manageable illness. Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, such as warfarin, heparin, enoxaparin, fondaparinux, edoxaban, apixaban, dabigatran, or rivaroxaban, will most likely be prescribed by your doctor.
Anticoagulation lowers the risk of a pulmonary embolism (PE) by stabilizing the existing clot and assisting the body in breaking it down over time.
Blood thinners may be required for several weeks or months. It's critical to follow your doctor's instructions to the letter.
To dissolve the clot, thrombolytics, often known as "clot busters," may be given. Because these drugs have a larger risk of causing bleeding than blood thinners, they are only used in extreme instances.