Deep venous thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious condition that happens when a blood clot, or thrombus, forms in one of the deep veins in your body, most often in the legs. It can happen in a variety of ways, such as having a blood-clotting medical condition, or if you are inactive for a long time, such as after an accident, surgery or pregnancy.
It doesn’t necessarily show symptoms, but when it does, leg pain similar to cramping or muscle ache is a big warning sign, along with swelling in the affected area. If you think you may have DVT, getting into a doctor for a proper diagnosis is paramount. If blood clots do turn out to be present in your legs, they carry the risk of breaking loose and causing blood clots elsewhere in the body, leading to stroke or embolism.
The first thing we’ll always do when diagnosing a vein problem at Advanced Vein Center for our New England-area patients is a bilateral exam for DVT, which will detect any clots and obstructions to the blood flow in your legs. If we’ve done any procedure involving the veins in your legs, we’ll also examine you afterward using our state-of-the-art ZS3 Premium Ultrasound machine for the most accurate way to ensure no blood clots are forming.
Symptoms of DVT
- Leg swelling, in one or both legs
- Leg pain, often in calves
- Cramping or soreness
At Advanced Vein Center in South Portland, Maine, we treat patients from all over Maine for DVT and related disorders, such as spider or varicose veins that can result after DVT is controlled and treated.
Deep venous thrombosis treatment will include stabilizing any existing blood clot, and preventing you from another occurrence of DVT in the future. Medications can include blood thinners over a period of some weeks or months, depending on your health and other conditions, or other solutions like “clotbuster” medications or a surgically-placed vena cava filter.
Procedures available at Advanced Vein Center, such as ultrasound-guided laser treatments and sclerotherapy injections, can be useful in managing the symptoms or after effects of deep venous thrombosis with minimal invasion (even more important if you are on blood thinners following DVT treatment) and an emphasis on reducing complications like skin damage and swelling.
Once DVT is successfully managed, compression stockings are an effective and often-used treatment to prevent the swelling and pain brought on by DVT and to minimize your chances of experiencing future blood clots over the next few years.
Prevention is Lifestyle
If you’ve had one bout with DVT, that’s probably enough for you. There are changes you can make to reduce your chances of future deep vein thrombosis occurring, such as regular check-ins with your vein specialist at Advanced Vein Center, paying attention to your diet and activity levels, getting regular exercise, and consistently using compression stockings.
If painful or unsightly veins continue to bother you, contact us to address your issues with individualized treatments that focus on minimizing discomfort and downtime and maximizing your health and ability to do the activities you love.