Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment in Annapolis, MD
Deep vein thrombosis—or DVT—occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of the body. Blood clots in veins most often occur in the lower legs and thigh, but they can also occur elsewhere in the body—such as the arms. The most common cause of a blood clot developing in a vein is immobility. Sitting for long periods of time can make you more likely to get a DVT—some medicines and disorders may also increase your risk for clots that can lead to DVT.
To fully understand DVT, it's important to first understand how arteries and veins interact with one another. Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. On the other hand, veins are the blood vessels that return oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. There are three different kinds of veins:
- Superficial veins: These veins like close to the skin and the deep veins like in groups of muscles.
- Perforating veins: These veins connect the superficial veins to the deep veins with one-way valves.
- Deep veins: These veins lead to the vena cava – the body's largest vein – which runs directly to your heart.
Blood flows from the superficial veins into the deep venous system through small perforator veins. A blood clot in the veins become life-threatening when a piece of the blood clot breaks off and travels through the heart into the pulmonary circulation system, and becomes lodged in the lung. Diagnosis and treatment of a DVT is meant to prevent this from occurring.
Symptoms & Diagnosis of DVT
The signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis may be related to DVT itself, or it can be a sign of a pulmonary embolism. Both of these conditions can cause serious, possibly life-threatening complications if not treated. About half of all DVT cases do not cause symptoms. The most common symptoms of DVT include:
- Swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg
- Pain or tenderness in the leg
- Increased warmth in the area
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
To diagnose DVT, your physician will first ask you questions about your general health, medical history, and symptoms. He or she will then perform a physical exam. During this exam, your doctor will look for redness, swelling, or tenderness in the leg. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may order additional imaging tests such as an ulstraound, or venogram.
How is DVT Treated?
Deep vein thrombosis can usually be treated with medications or minimally invasive procedures. The most common of these non-invasive options used for DVT include:
- Medications: Prescription blood thinners – also called anticoagulants – are often the first step in treating DVT. These medications are used to prevent blood clots from forming, and old ones from getting larger. Blood thinners can be taken as either a pill, an injection under the skin.
- Clotbusters: When other blood thinners fail to treat the condition, other medications, known as thrombolytics, are given in life-threatening situations.
- Filters: If you are unable to take blood thinners, a filter may be inserted into the vena cava to prevent blots that break loose from lodging in the lungs.
- Compression stockings: To help prevent swelling, stockings are often worn on the legs from the feet to the knees to increase circulation.
In more serious cases, certain surgical procedures may be required. A procedure known as a venous thrombectomy, is a surgical procedure to remove a vein clot.
Request more information about deep vein thrombosis today. Call (410) 567-0667 or contact Dr. Alan Stuart Weiss online.
Annapolis Integrative Medicine Clinic
Address1819 Bay Ridge Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
9:30 am - 6:30 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm