Deep Vein Thrombosis
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
A DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, is a condition in which blood has accumulated within the deep, main veins of the body. This sticky glob of blood is called a blood clot, and when left untreated, can put leave you in some pretty sticky situations.
Overview on DVT
DVT affects about 2,000,000 people per year, and causes approximately 300,000 deaths. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the disease, it often goes undetected.
There are two different types of DVT, acute and chronic.
– Acute Deep Vein Thrombosis
An Acute DVT is commonly associated with a condition called Pulmonary Embolism. This is because an acute DVT carries the risk of migrating through the venous system into the lungs. The longest working treatment happens to be Anticoagulants—or blood thinners.
– Chronic DVT
A system in a chronic phase, or one that has constantly occluded veins, is a described as Chronic DVT. We treat these through recanalization—a process in which veins are reopened through balloons that stretches the vein walls by compressing the , and kept open through stents that are placed within the vein.
Symptoms of DVT
Unfortunately, DVT’s often go unnoticed for very long periods of times—sometimes even decades. Sometimes this leads to a complication called Pulmonary embolism, which can cause severe chest pain or death. However, most individuals will notice things like swelling, tenderness, discomfort. It almost feels like having a sprained leg, or infection.
If you notice the following symptoms for a long time, you should go see a doctor:
• Warm Skin
However, DVT’s often go unnoticed.
Causes of DVT
Here are the most common causes of deep vein thrombosis.
For many people, DVT’s develop when consistently sedentary. For example, patients that have been hospitalized, are obese, or work at a desk all seem to have a higher chance to develop DVT’s.
Individuals that are overweight risk damaging the lining of their veins, which leads proportionately higher amount of instances of this condition.
Individuals can also carry genes with them which have a high correspondence of DVT’s. If your family has a history of DVT’s, you should schedule regular checkups with your doctor
Medications, like birth control or HRT (hormone replacement therapy), also run the risk of generating DVT’s.
And most common of all, bad luck.
Diagnosis and Treatment Deep Vein Thrombosis
As always, the best form of treatment is prevention. However, the next best thing would be to pay attention and attack the DVT in its earlier stages.
DVT’s can be diagnosed through physical examinations, Venous Ultrasound, Computed Tomography Venography, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Venography (MRI/MRV)
DVT’s usually remain within their acute stages for the first six weeks of their life, and then degenerate into chronic dvt’s. It’s imperative that the DVT be caught early as there exists a minimally invasive technique called Isolated Pharmacomechanical Throbolysis (IPMT) which can disperse early stage DVT’s.
Even though pain, swelling, discoloration and abnormal warmth are signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, only about half of sufferers display them. In many cases, the condition is only apparent after a blood clot has broken off and resulted in a pulmonary embolism
By the time blood clots become chronic, normally within six weeks, they are very hard to treat… even with advanced techniques. Thus, treating clots is best done in the acute stage.