Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

How Do You Get Deep Vein Thrombosis?

DVT or deep vein thrombosis can occur when a blood clot is formed in the deep veins of the patient's body usually legs. The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can range from no particular symptoms to severe pain or swelling in the leg. It has been seen that deep vein thrombosis develops in case a patient has some medical condition that affects the process of clotting of the blood. In many cases, deep vein thrombosis occurs if a patient does not move for a long time after a surgery or accident when the patient is confined to the bed.

How Serious is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT, can be very serious at times. This is because the blood clots in the veins can break loose and travel through the bloodstream to remain anchored in the lungs which in turn may block the blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism.

What is the Complications Related to Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Few of the complications involve-

  • It has been seen that the most common complication of deep vein thrombosis is post-thrombotic syndrome. This is usually caused by a reduction of venous blood of the heart.
  • The post-thrombotic syndrome causes pain and in severe cases may cause leg ulcers too.
  • Pulmonary embolism is the most serious complication of deep vein thrombosis. The risk of pulmonary embolism is higher for people having blood clots in the thighs and pelvis.
  • At times if deep vein thrombosis is left untreated, pulmonary embolism may occur then too.
  • The pulmonary embolism is characterized by breathlessness and chest pain which may become worse when one breathes.
  • Such form of condition, which is pulmonary embolism, may cause sudden collapse.
  • At times, the deep vein thrombosis may occur frequently and thus there may be an issue of recurrence.

What are the Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can vary from person to person. The following are the common symptoms:

  • Swelling in the affected area of the leg. Although rare, sometimes there may be swelling in both the legs.
  • The patient may complain of pain in the leg. The pain generally starts in the calf.
  • Patient may complain of heavy ache in the affected area.
  • Feeling of cramping and soreness in the leg.
  • Discoloration or redness of the skin of the leg.
  • Feeling of warmth in the affected leg.
  • At times, deep vein thrombosis does not accompany with any noticeable symptoms.

How to Prevent the Occurrence of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Various measures may be suggested to prevent deep vein thrombosis. They are:

  • If the patient has undergone surgery or has been advised bed rest for some reason, he should get moving as soon as possible or do simple leg movement exercises twice a day.
  • When a person is still for a while, he is advised not to cross his legs as this can hamper blood flow.
  • If a person has to travel long distance by car, he should stop every hour and walk around.
  • If a person has to travel by plane, he should occasionally stand or walk. If such is not possible, exercising lower legs may be helpful. Such exercises include raising and lowering heels while keeping the toes on the floor and then again, raising the toes with heels on the floor.
  • Lifestyle changes are equally important to avoid DVT or deep vein thrombosis. A person should lose weight and quit smoking.
  • Regular Exercise may lower the risk of blood clots. This is specifically important for people who sit a lot or have to travel frequently.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 1, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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