Deep venous thrombosis, commonly referred to as DVT, occurs when blood thickens and clumps together and forms a clot, or thrombus, in deep veins, most frequently, of the legs. These clots impede blood flow and in some cases may completely block the vein causing swelling, aching, warmth and redness. Aside from the pain and discomfort that can accompany DVT, is the possibility that the clot, or thrombus, breaking loose and traveling through the body lodging in your lung. When this happens, it is called a pulmonary embolism, which is a serious, life threatening event.
There are four common symptoms of DVT, but it is important to note that people who have DVT in their upper leg may be symptom free. Lower leg DVT is more commonly symptomatic. The symptoms are:
There are a variety of medical and minimally invasive surgical treatments for DVT. Frequently, oral medication that thins the blood for 3-6 months, support hose and clinical follow with ultrasound is all that’s needed. NOAC (New Oral Anti-coagulant) drugs allow for treatment times to be reduced and show great promise as they don't require routine monitoring. In more severe cases, the surgeons at University Surgical Vascular perform venography with clot removal using minimally invasive techniques in the office setting. In some cases, our physicians place a special filter in your vein to keep clots from traveling to your heart and lungs. During your initial office visit you will receive a complete explanation and treatment plan with recommendations specifically suited for your condition.