What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a disease that occurs when blood clots in one of the body’s deep veins. This clot is most common in the legs, although it can affect other parts of the body as well. Blood clots occur when blood thickens and clumps together. It can either present no symptoms or cause pain, swelling, discoloration, cramping or warmth in the affected area.
Who Is at Risk for Developing DVT?
DVT can form at any age as a result of anything that prevents the blood from circulating properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 900,000 people are affected by either DVT or a pulmonary embolism (PE), or both in the U.S. each year.
Many people experience symptoms of DVT that resemble those of varicose veins, which often makes it difficult to diagnose DVT without an ultrasound. DVT can also occur without any warning signs or symptoms. This makes it very important to learn the risk factors of DVT so you can take preventative measures to decrease your risk of developing blood clots. The most common risk factors include:
- Recent accident or surgery that required lengthy bed rest
- Having a blood-clotting disorder or a family history of these disorders
- Sitting for long periods, such as flights or car rides
- Current or former smoker
- Over the age of 60 years old
DVT can become dangerous if the blood clots break loose. Clots that break off can potentially travel through the bloodstream and land in the lungs — a condition called pulmonary embolism (PE). It’s important to talk to a vascular specialist if you notice any signs of DVT. They can perform an ultrasound to officially diagnose the disease.
Reduce Your Risk of Developing DVT
Being aware of common risk factors for DVT and making lifestyle changes is helpful to lower your risk of developing this condition, but it is not a guarantee. One way to make sure you have a healthy circulatory system is to make sure you are taking care of your veins. If you notice enlarged, bulging veins that cause pain, you may have a vein disease that requires treatment.
At USA Vein Clinics, our vascular specialists are able to treat symptomatic vein disease to promote a healthy circulatory system. Our doctors use minimally invasive procedures to treat the source of your vein disease to reduce symptoms and prevent future health risks like DVT. Don’t wait until it is too late; schedule your consultation today at the location nearest you.