Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), is a condition where a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in the legs (calves or thighs) causing pain and swelling that could lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism if the clot dislodges and travels to the lungs.
Blood clots that form in veins just under the skin are called superficial veins also known as Superficial Thrombophlebitis. This condition is much less serious than DVT but could spread to the deeper veins.
Most blood clots start off small and do not cause any symptoms because the body will often be able to gradually break them down to avoid any long-term health effects. Larger clots can be more serious because they partly or completely block the blood flow in a vein causing some or all of the symptoms listed below:
- Pain and tenderness
- Warm skin that looks red
- Mild fever
If Dr. Tilara suspects that a patient has any form of DVT, several tests will be completed to determine the exact location of the blood clot and the severity. Standard tests used to diagnose DVT include:
The D-dimer test measures a substance in the blood stream that develops when a blood clot breaks down. If this test is negative it is unlikely that a patient has DVT.
- Ultrasound Doppler
During this procedure sound waves look at blood flow in vessels around the suspected area to detect blockage. It is not uncommon for a patient to have more than one ultrasound if multiple clots are present.
During a Venograph test, dye is injected into a vein while X-rays are taken of the suspect area. The X-rays will show whether or not blood flow is slow which may indicate a blood clot.
Treatment for DVT
Treatment for DVT aims to reduce the risk of, and if possible, prevent complications such as pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism happens when the blood clot (or a piece of it that has broken off) travels in your blood to your lungs . Treatments also try to relieve any symptoms of DVT, such as pain and swelling.
You might need to go into hospital for some types of treatment, or if you’re at risk of complications.
If a patient qualifies, Dr Tilara will prescribe anticlotting (anticoagulant) medication to treat DVT. Anticlotting medication helps to stop blood clots from getting bigger, or coming loose and travelling to the lungs. They can also stop new blood clots from forming. Dr. Tilara will assess a patient’s condition and prescribe accordingly. While taking an anticlotting medication, patients are monitored through blood tests to measure how well they are working. If a blood test detects that the blood is too thick or too thin the dosage will be adjusted until balanced. The frequency of testing differs from one patient to another.
- Compression Stockings
Compression Stockings, also called graduated compression stockings, may reduce or prevent a patient from developing another DVT or experiencing complications. Because each patient is unique, instructions for usage will vary.
- Inferior Vena Cava Filter (IVC)
Patients than cannot take anticlotting medication may be fitted with an inferior vena cava filter. The vena cava is a large vein in the abdomen where blood travels from the lower body back to the heart. A filter will prevent dislodged blood clots from travelling to the lungs where it could cause pulmonary embolism. Learn more+
Atlanta Vascular and Vein Center is located in Lawrenceville, GA servicing patients living in Metro Atlanta, Gwinnett County and the surrounding communities including Duluth, Dacula, and Grayson. Call 678-878-4555 today to schedule an appointment today.