What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Thrombosis means the blood has clotted in a blood vessel. In the leg veins, clots can form in the superficial veins (phlebitis) or in the deep veins (Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT).
Veins develop bloods clots from injuries, immobilization, such as being bedridden or sitting a long time in a car or plane, certain infections, over-active blood clotting disorders, cancer, or sometimes for no known reason. Pregnancy, female hormones and birth control pills, smoking, and being overweight are risk factors. Untreated venous insufficiency and varicose veins make blood clots more likely as well.
There may be pain, swelling, or redness, but there may be no symptoms at all.
When to Visit a Vein Doctor for DVT
DVT is a potentially dangerous condition. Clots in larger veins can break off and travel to other areas, usually the lungs. They can also destroy the valves in the veins leading to Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Venous Stasis.
DVT is treated with compression stockings, walking, and often anticoagulant medicine to slow down the clotting system. Large, dangerous clots are sometimes dissolved in the hospital.
PREVENT DVT! Walk around, especially on long trips, exercise, stop smoking, and lose weight.