Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a type of blood clot that most often occurs in the lower extremities. Such clots form in veins found deep inside the body. DVT should not be confused with clots found in veins closer to the surface of the skin, as these clots do not lead to complications. While DVT may not cause many noticeable symptoms at first, if left untreated it can cause massive amounts of damage.
The biggest risk associated with DVT is its potential to break off from a vein wall and travel throughout the body. This loose clot (referred to as an embolism) may move through the bloodstream to a vital area, such as the brains, lungs, or heart. If this occurs, blood flow to these organs may be interrupted, leading to pulmonary embolism (PE). PE can cause massive damage to vital organs and may lead to a stroke or death.
DVT can occur for several reasons, including sluggish blood flow associated with chronic venous insufficiency as well as trauma to a vein’s wall. Patients who are overweight, pregnant, of an older age, or who smoke regularly are at a higher risk for DVT. Consult with a vein doctor in Monmouth County to learn more about your own level of risk.
Many patients experiencing DVT show no symptoms. Others may experience leg swelling (particularly along the affected vein), as well as a feeling of warmth, pain, or tenderness. Patients may also experience skin that is red or otherwise discolored.
Deep vein thrombosis can be treated through conservative and surgical measures. Patients are encouraged to wear compression stockings to help facilitate blood flow and reduce clot formations. Measures such as vena cava filters may also prove beneficial. Our vein center in Monmouth County can help you better understand your options.