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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood cells thickenstick together and form a clot deep in the body’s larger, deeper veins, typically in the thigh or lower leg.
The center for disease control estimates that the number of people affected by deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism each year in the USA ranges from 300,000 to 600,000.
Possible complications of deep vein thrombosis include:
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the larger, deeper veins of the body. Factors that increase the likelihood of clotting include:
The following risk factors can affect the likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT):
Your doctor may conduct the following tests to arrive at a deep vein thrombosis diagnosis (DVT):
Only about 50% of patients with DVT experience symptoms. These include:
The prognosis for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) depends on the severity of the clot and the patient’s risk factors.
If you’ve had deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the past, you are more likely to develop it again. The following tips can help prevent a future DVT:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is most often only screened for in at-risk populations – smokers, the elderly, obese patients, and those with other high-risk levels. In order to screen for DVT, a doctor may conduct a physical exam, ultrasound, or MRI imaging.
The following preventative measures can be taken to decrease your chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT):
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be treated with a variety of medications and treatments.
The following classes of medications are common treatment methods for DVT:
In cases where anticoagulants are not working, doctors may suggest a vena cava filter. Vena cava filters are inserted into the vena cava to block blood clots from travelling to the heart and lungs. Vena cava filters can be inserted surgically on a temporary or permanent basis.
The following alternative treatments may help relieve DVT:
Dietary supplements. The following supplements may help prevent blood clots:
Herbal supplements. The following herbal supplements may help prevent blood clots:
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that uses the insertion of small needles to restore the bodily flow of energy. Acupuncture may help reduce overall stress levels, improve circulation, and help prevent blood clots.
Mind/body techniques. Techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation can help reduce stress and improve general feelings of well-being.
If you are caring for someone with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), be sure to take the following steps to lessen the risk of DVT reoccurrence:
Contact a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms, as these may be signs of deep vein thrombosis:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call emergency services immediately. These may be signs of a pulmonary embolism or limb ischemia:
To find a hematologist (blood-disease specialist), visit The American Society of Hematology.
To find a doctor that specializes in deep vein thrombosis or visit www.legpaindoctor.org and select “deep vein thrombosis (DVT)” as the area of expertise.
You may want to ask your doctor the following questions about your condition:
For more information on deep vein thrombosis, visit:
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