Deep Vein Thrombosis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a medical condition which takes place when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. Deep vein thrombosis mostly develop in the deep veins of your thigh region and rarely, in other deep veins in your arm. Deep vein thrombosis is not like the blood clots formed in the superficial veins that are just under your skin, known as superficial thrombophlebitis. Deep Vein Thrombosis(DVT) is a very serious condition where treatment is necessary.

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis

If the blood clot is small your body will be able to break them down slowly causing no long-term effects. But if the blood clot is larger, it is dangerous because it completely blocks the blood flow in that region causing symptoms like:

  • Swelling of the affected region that is on your thigh.
  • Severe pain and tenderness in the affected leg. Because of this condition you find very difficult to stand properly as your leg becomes very weak.
  • A discoloration of your skin in the affected region will be seen, for instance, redness.
  • The affected skin may become warm or hot to the touch.

Complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Usually deep vein thrombosis may not cause any serious  complications but there are some possible complications, such as pulmonary embolism, post thrombotic syndrome, and a rare complication caused due to this condition is limb ischaemia.

Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Some of the main reasons for this condition include

  • Age over 40 years
  • Immobility in case of any previous operation in the leg region
  • Blood clot in a venous blood vessel long before
  • Family history of blood clots particularly in veins
  • Thrombophilia
  • Obesity
  • Certain diseases like cancer and its treatment
  • Birth control pills that has oestrogen, or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) 

Diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis

To diagnose this condition, you may have to undergo the following tests in an infirmary:

  • A blood test which is named as D-Dimer is usually done to measure a substance which is responsible for blood clots to break down. If you have negative reading in this test, it tells that you have deep vein thrombosis
  • A Doppler ultrasound is also done to test the sound waves of the blood as it flows through the vessels.
  • In venogram test, a special dye is introduced into your vein, and examined with X-ray to know the clot.

Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Medicines like anticoagulants are commonly employed  for the treatment of Deep vein thrombosis. Heparin and warfarin are the mostly common anticoagulants used. Thrombolytic medicines are also effective in dissolving blood clots in the affected region; but they can cause bleeding, so this medicine is used rarely. Compression stockings are also used to treat this condition.