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Deep Vein Thrombosis, aka DVT, is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot (thrombosis) or clots form in the deep veins of your legs. DVT typically causes swelling and pain, but you can also have DVT and not notice any symptoms. DVT is very serious. When a blood clot breaks free and travels through your bloodstream, it can lodge in your lungs and block your blood flow. This is called a pulmonary embolism and it makes a heart attack or stroke more likely. DVT can be treated with medications, medical and compression wear, and physical therapy.
There are many veins in our arms and legs - from superficial veins that are very close to the surface of our body to deep veins that are far from the surface. Unlike superficial veins which are not paired with an artery, deep veins are. Deep veins are almost always beside an artery with the same name such as the femoral vein and femoral artery. While blood clots in superficial veins rarely travel anywhere, blood clots in deep veins can break free and travel in the blood stream. Sometimes the body heals itself and the blood clot disappears on its own, but other times the blood clot can lodge in the lungs and block blood flow. This can lead to a pulmonary embolism from which you can die.
Signs and symptoms of Deep Vein Thombosis (DVT) may include:
It is important to note that you can have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and experience no symptoms of the condition.
There are many potential causes of blood clots in deep veins , including:
Factors that increase your risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) include:
The treatment options for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) seek to keep the blood clot from getting bigger and preventing it from breaking free. This both treats an existing blood clot as well as decreases the likelihood of other blood clots forming. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) treatment options include:
As with any medical condition, you should regularly see your doctor and follow your doctor's orders. This is especially important to do if you have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Things you should plan to do include the following: