What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Premier Vein & Vascular Center has years of experience treating a host of vein and vascular-related conditions. One of them, deep vein thrombosis, should concern any Houston, TX patient who experiences it. Receiving prompt treatment is crucial to avoid some of the serious complications of deep vein thrombosis. It occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein in your body. A blood clot is blood that has turned into a solid-state. Deep vein clots almost always happen in the thigh or lower leg, but they can develop in other areas of the body. The most important thing to understand about DVT is that it is a serious condition that requires immediate attention.
How To Get A Deep Vein Thrombosis Diagnosis
Deep vein thrombosis can form for various reasons, including an injury to the vein, surgery complications, long-term reduced mobility, and chronic inactivity, and some medications. These common causes are not always avoidable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms that lead to a deep vein thrombosis diagnosis occur in roughly half of the individuals who have the condition. The symptoms of upper-body thrombosis include neck and shoulder pain, swelling in the arm or hand, blue-tinted skin color, pain that moves from the arm to the forearm, and hand weakness. The more common symptoms of lower-body thrombosis include:
- Swelling in the foot, ankle, or leg – typically on one side of the body.
- Cramps and pain in the affected leg, beginning in the calf.
- Severe and mysterious pain in your foot or ankle.
- Warm patches of skin
- Pale, reddish, or bluish skin over the impacted area
Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis Through Action
Fortunately, while deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition, it is largely avoidable. In the case of DVT caused by inactivity, there is plenty you can do to act toward preventing deep vein thrombosis. Keeping an active lifestyle is essential, which can be a challenge for those who work in environments where they sit for extended periods. If you work a job that keeps you sedentary, then you should get up once an hour and take a brisk walk. Additionally, patients are encouraged to keep their weight at a healthy level, as too much weight can place undue pressure on the pelvis and legs. As for lifestyle changes, it’s always a good idea to maintain healthy blood pressure and quit smoking. If you plan on undergoing surgery, talk to your surgeon about taking blood thinners after the procedure.
Effective Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatments
We use various techniques to diagnose blood clots in your legs and other parts of your body, including ultrasounds and venograms. Premier Vein & Vascular Center has several methods available to us for deep vein thrombosis treatment. While the condition is serious and urgent, it is treatable with methods that can safely reverse the condition. Our first goal is to prevent the clot from expanding and reduce the risk of a pulmonary embolism or additional clots. We do so through the following techniques:
- Medication: We might prescribe medications to thin your blood, such as rivaroxaban, apixaban, warfarin or enoxaparin. These medications make it harder for the clot to expand and helps prevent additional blood clots. Another option is a thrombolytic drug, which breaks up clots. This drug is administered through an IV.
- Compression Stockings: Compression stockings are an excellent prevention method because they prevent swelling and reduce your risk of developing blood clots. We recommend you wear them every day until the risk of deep vein thrombosis disappears. We commonly use them following surgery or during periods of immobility such as long plane or car rides.
- Filters: IVC filters are a short-term treatment that prevent blood clots from traveling form the legs to the lungs causing pulmonary embolism. We insert one into the large vein in the abdomen (the vena cava). They are frequently used for patients who cannot take blood thinners for any reason.
- Surgery: If all else fails, there are surgical options available to Premier Vein & Vascular Center. We usually do not perform surgery unless there is a particularly large blood clot or clots causing serious issues like tissue damage. The procedure is called a thrombectomy, and we remove the blood clot and repair the vessel.
Contact Us Today To Schedule An Appointment
Anyone can develop a deep vein thrombosis, but certain individuals are more at risk. Some of the risk factors include bone fractures, being overweight, a family history of DVT, having a catheter placed in the vein, birth control bills, smoking, and staying seated for long periods. If you are at risk and have noticed any of the symptoms outlined on this page, we strongly encourage you to contact Premier Vein & Vascular Center. We can perform tests to determine whether you have deep vein thrombosis and get to work treating your condition. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.