Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a result of blood clots in the veins, often in the legs. DVT can result to swelling, aching but it can also show no symptoms. Deep vein thrombosis often occurs from medical conditions that affect blood clots. It can also develop from after surgery or accident bed rest or when there is no movement in the body for a long time.Deep vein thrombosis can be very serious because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).

Symptoms

Deep vein thrombosis signs and symptoms can include:

  • Swelling in the affected leg. Rarely, there’s swelling in both legs.
  • Pain in your leg.
  • Red or discolored skin on the leg.
  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg.
  • Deep vein thrombosis can occur without noticeable symptoms.
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Risk factors

Many factors can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The more you have, the greater your risk of DVT. Risk factors can include genetic blood clotting disorders. In some cases, people are inherited with a disorder that makes their blood clot more easily. However, blood clots happen when this condition is combined with a few more risk factors such as long term bed rest or limited movement. When the legs remain still for a long period of time, the blood does not circulate well due to a lack of muscle contraction and that higher the risk of blood clots. There are also other risk factors that play an important role, such as pregnancy or being overweight as they both apply pressure on the veins in the pelvis and legs. Smoking affects blood clotting and circulation, which can increase your risk of DVT.

Causes

The blood clots of deep vein thrombosis are a result of lack of blood circulation such as vein damage, certain medicines, and limited movement in the body.

Complications in DVT

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood vessel in your lung becomes blocked by a blood clot (thrombus) that travels to your lung from another part of your body, usually your leg.

A pulmonary embolism can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening. It is very important to watch for signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism and seek medical attention if they occur. Signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath or when you cough
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Coughing up blood
  • Post-phlebitic syndrome
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