What You Need to Know About Deep Vein Thrombosis

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blood clotDeep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms within a deep vein, typically in the legs although they can occur other places throughout the body. DVT becomes truly dangerous, however, when a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, resulting in the potentially fatal condition known as a pulmonary embolism.

Like many other medical conditions, DVT can be caused by a mixture of genetics and of factors within the patient’s control. A person with a family history of DVT is at heightened risk, especially if they are over the age of sixty, and any injury or trauma to the area can also create a greater risk for blood clots. Factors within a patient’s control include weight, activity level, and whether or not they smoke cigarettes, while other factors, like pregnancy, are not necessarily within a patient’s control but must be monitored closely. Other seemingly non-related conditions can also increase a person’s risk for DVT, including heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, HIV, and certain blood-clotting disorders.

Roughly half of people who have DVT experience no symptoms at all, and those that do can find it difficult to differentiate the symptoms of DVT with similar symptoms of much less serious conditions. Those who do experience symptoms will likely notice swelling, pain or discomfort, warmth, redness, discoloration, and enlarged surface veins. If DVT is suspected, your physician will perform an ultrasound or similar imaging test to determine if the condition is present or if you are at risk for future development.

Recommendations for individuals at risk for DVT vary greatly depending on the severity of their risk. For those at moderate risk, physicians typically recommend the use of compression stockings and the practice of elevating the legs whenever possible. Those who travel frequently or who have jobs that require them to sit for long periods of time should also make a special effort to take frequent walking breaks and perform simple leg exercises throughout the day. For those with more severe cases, medication may be prescribed in the form of anti-coagulants and blood-thinners, which help to prevent future clots from forming and existing clots from growing larger.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and feel that you may be at risk for deep vein thrombosis, especially if you have a family history of DVT or a personal history of any associated conditions, then please contact Dr. Zuzga of the West Florida Vein Center for an appointment. With the right lifestyle changes and special attention paid to those already effected, DVT can be prevented and those at risk can go on to lead long, comfortable, and healthy lives.

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Tampa Vein Specialists

No one needs to suffer from untreated varicose vein disease anymore. In addition, with today's favorable insurance coverage, the procedures are even more accessible. If you have a vein problem, you need Dr. Zuzga and West Florida Vein Center!


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