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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

 What is Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein occlusion (DVT, additionally referred to as blood vessel thrombosis) could be a grume that develops in an exceedingly vein deep within the body. The clot might part or fully block blood flow through the vein. Most DVTs occur within the lower leg, thigh or pelvis, though they can also occur in alternative elements of the body together with the arm, brain, intestines, liver or excretory organ.

Deep Vein occlusion and embolism (DVT/PE) area unit usually underdiagnosed and high, however preventable medical conditions.

Deep vein occlusion (DVT) could be a medical condition that happens once a grume forms in an exceedingly deep vein. These clots typically develop within the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, however they'll additionally occur within the arm.

It is necessary to understand concerning DVT as a result of it will happen to anybody and may cause serious malady, disability, and in some cases, death. The great news is that DVT is preventable and treatable if discovered early.

Even though DVT itself isn't severe, the grume has the potential to interrupt free and travel through the blood, wherever it will become lodged within the blood vessels of the respiratory organ (known as a pneumonic embolism). this could be a life- threatening condition. Therefore, prompt diagnosing and treatment are necessary.

DVT also can cause complications within the legs spoken as chronic blood vessel insufficiency or the post-thrombotic syndrome. This condition is characterized by pooling of blood, chronic leg swelling, enlarged pressure, enlarged pigmentation or discoloration of the skin, and leg ulcers referred to as blood vessel stasis ulcers.

What is Deep vein thrombosis

Explanation of medical terms and concepts (DVT)

Deep vein occlusion (DVT) happens once a blood (thrombus) forms in one or additional of the deep veins in your body, typically in your legs. Deep vein occlusion will cause leg pain or swelling however can also occur with no symptoms.

You can get DVT if you've got medical conditions that have an effect on your blood clots. Blood in your legs also can happen if you do not move for an extended time, like when you've got surgery or AN accident, once you are traveling an extended distance, or once you are on bed rest.

Deep vein occlusion are often terribly serious as a result of blood clots in your veins will break loose, travel through your blood and get stuck in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism). However, embolism will occur with no proof of DVT.

When DVT and embolism occur along, it's referred to as blood vessel occlusion (VTE).

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a blood clot that can occur in any of the deep veins in the body Most often it occurs in the larger veins in the legs and thighs These are called "deep" veins because they are not close to the heart as many superficial veins are The risk of DVT increases with age and continued immobility (such as sitting on an airplane for hours) While most people with DVT don’t experience symptoms some do have leg swelling and tenderness (often described as feeling like “elephant feet”) warmth on one

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of the deep veins It most commonly affects the legs but can also develop in other areas where there are large groups of venous structures such as fatty tissue pelvic limbs and arms DVT develops when something causes injury to a vein wall which then allows small blood clots to form inside the vein itself or travel with the bloodstream until they attach themselves to something else This is called "embolization." The clots that travel through the bloodstream are called an embolism DVT occurs when these clots get lodged in smaller blood

Symptoms Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

DVT signs and symptoms can include:

  • Swelling in the affected leg. Rarely, there's swelling in both legs.

  • Pain in your leg. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or soreness.

  • Red or discolored skin on the leg.

  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg.

Deep vein thrombosis can occur without noticeable symptoms.

When to see a doctor

If you develop signs or symptoms of DVT, contact your doctor.

If you develop signs or symptoms of an embolism (PE) — a dangerous complication of deep vein occlusion — request emergency medical relief.

The warning signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath

  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath or when you cough

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting

  • Rapid pulse

  • Rapid breathing

  • Coughing up blood

Causes Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Anything that forestalls your blood from flowing or natural action unremarkably will cause blood.

The main causes of DVT square measure harm to a vein from surgery or trauma and inflammation thanks to infection or injury.

The following conditions will increase your risk of a DVT:

  • An inherited (genetic) condition that increases your risk of blood clots

  • Cancer and some of its treatments (chemotherapy)

  • Limited blood flow in a deep vein, due to injury, surgery, or immobilization

  • Long periods of inactivity that decrease blood flow, such as:

    • Sitting for a long period of time on trips in a car, truck, bus, train or airplane

    • Immobility after surgery or a serious injury

  • Pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after giving birth

  • Being over age 40 (although a DVT can affect people of any age)

  • Being overweight

  • Taking birth control pills or hormone therapy

  • Having a central venous catheter or pacemaker

Risk factors Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Many things can increase your risk of developing DVT. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of DVT. Risk factors for DVT include:

  • Age. Being older than 60 increases your risk of DVT, though it can occur at any age.

  • Sitting for long periods of time, such as when driving or flying. When your legs stay still for hours, your calf muscles do not contract. Muscle contractions ordinarily facilitate blood flow into. 

  • Prolonged bed rest, such as during a long hospital stay, or paralysis. Blood clots will kind within the calves of your legs if your calf muscles do not move for long periods. 

  • Injury or surgery. Injury to your veins or surgery can increase the risk of blood clots.

  • Pregnancy. Pregnancy will increase the pressure within the veins in your pelvis and legs. girls with AN transmissible coagulation disorder are particularly in danger. The danger of blood clots from maternity will continue for up to 6 weeks once you've got your baby. 

  • Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) or hormone replacement therapy. Both can increase your blood's ability to clot.

  • Being overweight or obese. Being overweight increases the pressure in the veins in your pelvis and legs.

  • Smoking. Smoking affects blood clotting and circulation, which can increase your risk of DVT.

  • Cancer. Some forms of cancer increase substances in your blood that cause your blood to clot. Some forms of cancer treatment also increase the risk of blood clots.

  • Heart failure. This will increase your risk of DVT and embolism. As a result of folks with coronary failure having restricted heart and respiratory organs perform, the symptoms caused by even a little embolism are additionally noticeable. 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease. Bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, increase the risk of DVT.

  • A personal or family history of DVT or PE. If you or someone in your family has had one or both of these, you might be at greater risk of developing DVT.

  • Genetics. Some individuals inherit genetic risk factors or disorders, like accelerator factor city, that create their blood a lot simply. A genetic abnormality on its own won't cause blood clots unless combined with one or a lot of different risk factors. 

  • No known risk factor. Sometimes, a blood clot in a vein can occur with no apparent underlying risk factor. This is called an unprovoked VTE.


Complications of DVT can include:

  • Pulmonary embolism (PE). PE may be a doubtless serious complication related to DVT. It happens once a vas in your respiratory organ becomes blocked by a grume (thrombus) that travels to your respiratory organ from another part of your body, typically your leg.
    It's important to urge immediate medical help if you've got signs and symptoms of letters of the alphabet. sudden shortness of breath, pain whereas eupneic or coughing, fast respiration, fast pulse, feeling faint or fainting, and forcing out blood could occur with a letter of the alphabet. 

  • Postphlebitic syndrome. Damage to your veins from the blood clot reduces blood flow in the affected areas, causing leg pain and swelling, skin discoloration and skin sores.

  • Treatment complications. Complications might result from blood thinners accustomed to treating DVTs. harm (hemorrhage) may be a worrisome facet impact of blood thinners. It is important to possess regular blood tests while taking such medications. 


Measures to prevent deep vein thrombosis include the following:

  • Avoid sitting still. If you have had surgery or are on bed rest for alternative reasons, try and commence as shortly as possible. If you are sitting for a moment, do not cross your legs, which might block blood flow. If you are traveling a protracted distance by automobile, stop each hour and walk around. 

  • If you are on a plane, stand or walk sometimes. If you cannot try this, exercise your lower legs. strive raising and lowering your heels whereas keeping your toes on the ground, then raising your toes along with your heels on the ground.

  • Don't smoke. Smoking increases your risk of getting DVT.

  • Exercise and manage your weight. Obesity is a risk factor for DVT. Regular exercise lowers your risk of blood clots, which is especially important for people who sit a lot or travel frequently.

Diagnosis Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

An appointment to seek out if you've got a DVT includes a test and review of your case history. you'll conjointly want testing. Common tests to diagnose a DVT are:

A duplex blood vessel ultrasound. This can be the foremost common check accustomed to diagnosing a DVT. It shows the blood flow within the veins and any blood clots that exist. AN ultrasound technician can apply pressure whereas scanning your arm or leg. If the pressure doesn't cause the vein to compress, it might mean there's a grume.

Venography. This check uses X-rays to indicate your deep veins. A special dye (contrast material) is injected into your veins that X-rays show the veins and any blood clots. Any blockage in blood flow may additionally be seen. arthrography could also be used if the results of the duplex ultrasound aren’t clear.

To diagnose DVT, your doctor can raise you concerning your symptoms. you will even have a physical test so your doctor will check for areas of swelling, tenderness or changes in color.

The tests you've got rely upon whether or not your doctor thinks you're at an occasional or a high risk of DVT. Tests accustomed diagnose or rule out a grume include:

  • D-dimer blood test. D chemical compounds could be a variety of macromolecules made by blood clots. Most individuals with severe DVT have increased blood levels of D chemical compounds. a traditional result on a D-dimer take a look at typically will facilitate rule out letters. 

  • Duplex ultrasound. This noninvasive take a look at uses sound waves to form photos of however blood flows through your veins. It is normal to take a look at DVT. For the take a look at, a technician gently moves a little hand-held device (transducer) on your heel the body space being studied. Typically a series of ultrasounds are done over many days to work out whether or not a grum is growing or to ascertain for a brand new one. 

  • Venography. A dye is injected into an oversized vein in your foot or gliding joint. Associate degree X-ray creates a picture of the veins in your legs and feet, to seem for clots. The check is invasive, therefore it's seldom performed. alternative tests, like ultrasound, usually area units done 1st. 

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. This test may be done to diagnose DVT in veins of the abdomen.

Treatment Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Patients with a DVT may have to be treated within the hospital. Others are also able to have patient treatment.

Treatments embrace medications, compression stockings and elevating the affected leg. If the blood is in depth, you will want a lot of invasive testing and treatment.

There are three main goals to DVT treatment.

  • Prevent the clot from getting bigger.

  • Prevent the clot from breaking loose and traveling to the lungs.

  • Reduce your chances of another DVT.

DVT treatment options include:

  • Blood thinners. DVT is most ordinarily treated with anticoagulants, additionally known as blood thinners. These medicines do not slash existing blood clots, however they'll stop clots from obtaining larger and cut back your risk of developing additional clots.
    Blood thinners are also taken orally or given by IV or associate degree injection underneath the skin. Anticoagulants are often given by IV. The foremost normally used injectable blood thinners for DVT are enoxaparin (Lovenox) and fondaparinux (Arixtra).
    After taking an associate degree injectable blood diluent for many days, your doctor might switch you to a pill. samples of blood thinners that you simply swallow embrace Coumadin (Jantoven) and dabigatran (Pradaxa).
    Certain blood thinners don't ought to incline 1st with IV or injection. These medicines are rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis) or edoxaban (Savaysa). they'll be started now once identification.
    You might ought to take blood diluent pills for 3 months or longer. It is vital to require them specifically as prescribed to stop serious side effects.
    If you're taking Coumadin, you'll have regular blood tests to examine however long it takes your blood to clot. Pregnant girls should not take bound blood-thinning medications. 

  • Clot busters. Also known as thrombolytics, these medications can be prescribed if you have got a serious form of DVT or alphabetic character, or if different medications are not operating.
    These medication square measures are given either by IV or through a tube (catheter) placed directly into the clot. Clot busters will cause serious harm, therefore they are sometimes solely used for folks with severe blood clots. 

  • Filters. If you can't take medicines to thin your blood, you might have a filter inserted into a large vein — the vena cava — in your abdomen. A vena cava filter prevents clots that break loose from lodging in your lungs.

  • Compression stockings. These special knee socks scale back the possibilities that your blood can pool and clot. To assist forestall swelling related to deep vein occlusion, wear them on your legs from your feet to concerning the amount of your knees. you must wear these stockings throughout the day for a minimum of 2 years, if doable. 

Lifestyle and home remedies

Once you receive treatment for DVT, it is important to follow some changes to manage your condition and stop another blood. way changes include:

  • Ask your doctor about your diet. Foods high in vitamin K, such as spinach, kale, other leafy greens and Brussels sprouts, can interfere with warfarin.

  • Take your medications as directed. Your doctor can tell you the way you would like treatment. If you are taking blood thinners, you will need a biopsy to examine how well your blood is coagulating. 

  • Watch for excessive bleeding. This can be a facet impact of blood thinners. sit down with your doctor concerning activities that might cause you to bruise or get cut, as even a minor injury might become serious if you are taking blood thinners. 

  • Move. If you've been on bed rest because of surgery or other factors, the sooner you get moving, the lower the chance that blood clots will develop.

  • Wear compression stockings. Wear these to help prevent blood clots in the legs if your doctor recommends them.

Preparing for your appointment

DVT is considered a medical emergency, so it's important to get evaluated quickly. However, if you have time before your appointment, here's some information to help you get ready.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to deep vein thrombosis, and when they began

  • Key personal information, including notes concerning travel, hospital stays, any unhealthiness, surgery or trauma within the past 3 months, and any personal or case history of blood-clotting disorders 

  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including doses

  • Questions to ask your doctor

If possible, take a family member or friend with you to help you remember the information you're given.

For DVT, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?

  • What tests do I need?

  • What's the best treatment?

  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?

  • Will I need to restrict my physical activity or travel?

  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?

  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Have you been inactive lately, such as sitting or lying down for long periods?

  • Do your symptoms bother you all the time, or do they come and go?

  • How severe are your symptoms?

  • What, if anything, makes your symptoms improve?

  • Does anything worsen your symptoms?

General summary

Yes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be cured Though DVT is typically not itself fatal it can cause serious health problems in the future if it goes untreated Fortunately there are blood-thinners that you can take to prevent a DVT from forming or worsening and possibly traveling to your heart or lungs

How serious is DVT in the leg?

DVT is a serious condition because blood clots can break away from the veins in which they form travel through the bloodstream and lodge in other parts of the body This can be fatal if it lodges in the lungs and causes a blockage called "PE," or pulmonary embolism If a clot goes to an arm it's called an "artery-to-vein" thrombosis (AVT) and can cause severe pain and swelling that may lead to heart attack if it breaks loose from its initial site and travels to the heart If a clot lodges in the brain

How long does it take for deep vein thrombosis to go away?

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT for short is a condition that affects the blood flow in your legs by creating clots If a blood clot travels to your lungs you could have a pulmonary embolism which can kill you if not addressed immediately The good news is that people who follow their doctor's orders and get early treatment typically do well after experiencing DVT

Should I go to the hospital for deep vein thrombosis?

You should go to the hospital if you have symptoms of a blood clot in your leg such as pain and swelling The longer a blood clot stays in your leg the greater the risk it will damage your health If you have shortness of breath or chest pain when breathing contact an EMS service immediately You may also contact an ambulance directly Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital or catch a ride with someone who doesn't know about your medical condition especially if you live alone and haven't told anyone that you've been diagnosed with DVT and PE

What type of doctor specializes in blood clots?

Some doctors specializing in blood clots are: cardiologists vascular surgeons orthopedic surgeons and radiologists Those who specialize in treating blood clots must have a broad range of knowledge regarding the causes symptoms and treatment options associated with this life-threatening condition

How do hospitals check for blood clots?

This is one of the most common ways hospitals check a patient for blood clots and thrombosis The care nurse will slide a finger into your vein in your hand or wrist and feel for any lumps or bumps If something feels abnormal they'll push on it to see if it's caused by a blood clot It sounds simple but it's very effective at spotting clots because the skin gives way when pushed on due to a blood clot underneath If nothing is found that might be causing your DVT an ultrasound scan may also be used to look for clots that have moved elsewhere in the body like the lungs

The most common complication of sitting or lying in bed too long is deep vein thrombosis DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein usually in the legs This blood clot can break free and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs block circulation and cause a pulmonary embolism (PE) which is potentially fatal Although DVT is not deadly on its own it can lead to death if left untreated If you are an immobile patient for whatever reason ask your doctor about wearing compression stockings during your recovery period These specially designed stockings will increase your blood flow by applying pressure

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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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