Of the many conditions that can affect your vascular system, deep vein thrombosis is one of the most serious. More commonly known as DVT, deep vein thrombosis affects more than 200,000 people each year in the United States alone. Left untreated, DVT can lead to life-threatening complications.
So what is deep vein thrombosis, and how does someone know if they have DVT? Read on to learn more about the causes of deep vein thrombosis and the warning signs to look out for.
What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deeper veins of the body. This most often occurs in the deep veins of the legs. These blood clots can then break free and travel elsewhere in the body, leading to serious complications like pulmonary embolism, which can be deadly.
Causes of DVT
The best way to avoid DVT is to understand how they develop in the first place. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when normal, healthy blood flow is prevented. Circulatory issues or trauma to a vein can eventually lead to DVT development. This makes deep vein thrombosis very common in patients who have varicose veins.
Aside from having varicose veins, other factors can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. These include the following:
- Being older than 60 years of age
- Prolonged bed rest due to illness or surgery
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Sitting for long periods of time during work or travel
- Birth control pills
- Certain cancers
- Heart disease
In some patients, deep vein thrombosis can occur due to genetics. But it’s not always easy to predict. Varicose veins and DVT can run in your family without any other known risk factors.
DVT Signs and Symptoms
Since deep vein thrombosis can lead to serious complications, it is vital to identify it as soon as possible and receive immediate treatment. The following are the most common warning signs that you have developed DVT:
- Swelling in one leg
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
- Pain or cramping in one leg
- A warm sensation in one leg
If deep vein thrombosis is left untreated, it can lead to a pulmonary embolism—a medical emergency. The following symptoms indicate that your DVT has broken off and led to a pulmonary embolism.
- Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when taking a deep breath
- Pain or discomfort when coughing
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid pulse
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
If you experience signs of a pulmonary embolism, seeking immediate medical treatment is essential.
Vein Treatments at Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center
Are you concerned about varicose veins or developing deep vein thrombosis? Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center provides a variety of vein treatments to resolve damaged veins, reduce varicose veins and lower the risk of DVT.
These treatments include sclerotherapy, vein closure, and more. Our offices are located in Washington Heights and Corona, Queens. Please call our staff today to book your vein treatment consultation.