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If you have venous insufficiency, then you may be at an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a type of vascular disease in which a blood clot, also known as a thrombus, forms in a vein that lies deep within the legs. Since DVT is a potentially life-threatening medical problem, it’s important to see a vein specialist at a clinic in Houston if you display any of the possible signs of DVT.

Causes and Risk Factors

Patients may develop DVT because of any underlying medical problems that inhibit circulation in the legs, such as venous insufficiency. DVT may also be indicative of a blood clotting problem. For instance, some people may inherit blood clotting disorders that make their blood more likely to clot. When you visit a vein specialist, he or she will help you explore some of the risk factors that you may have for DVT. If you’re a woman, these risk factors may include using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy. Obesity, pregnancy, a history of traumatic injury to the area, or a history of recent surgery may also increase your risk. Some people develop DVT after receiving cancer treatment. Certain cancer treatments and sometimes cancer itself may increase the risk of abnormal blood clotting. Other risk factors include advanced age, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use, heart failure, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Signs and Symptoms

It is possible for DVT to develop without the patient noticing any symptoms at all. When symptoms do arise, they typically include pain or cramping in the affected leg. It may feel as though the muscle is sore, just like it might be after vigorous exercise. An area of sudden swelling on one or both legs is also a red flag. Some patients may not notice symptoms until DVT has caused complications such as pulmonary embolism. This occurs when the blood clot breaks free and travels in the bloodstream to the lungs. Some of the signs of pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, dizziness, faintness, chest pain that worsens upon breathing or coughing, bloody cough, and a rapid pulse. These symptoms require emergency medical care.