DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins, usually in the legs or pelvis, leading to either partially or completely blocked venous circulation. The condition can result in serious health complications, such as a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can even result in death. A PE occurs when a clot breaks loose and moves into the lungs, where it blocks the arteries.
Up to two million Americans suffer from DVT each year, resulting in approximately 300,000 deaths annually from pulmonary embolism. There are more DVT related deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. DVT-related PE is the most common cause of preventable hospital death. Certain individuals may be at risk for developing DVT, although DVT can occur in anyone! Some risk factors to be discussed with your doctor include, but are not limited to:
- prolonged sitting such as in a car or airplane
- acute medical illness with restricted mobility such as bed rest
- inherited predisposition to clotting
- certain heart or respiratory diseases
- advanced age
- the use of medications with estrogen such as birth control pills
- postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
- recent surgery
While DVT's are common they are sometimes overlooked. Over half of all DVT episodes produce minimal to no symptoms. A simple ultrasound is used to detect a DVT.
Symptoms of DVT may include pain, swelling, tenderness, and discoloration or redness.
Take the risk assessment test to see if you or a loved one is at risk for DVT.
Until recently, DVT was only treated by administering blood thinning drugs. As a result, patients were at risk for developing post-thrombotic syndrome, which can lead to years of leg discomfort.
Within a single setting, and in addition to anticoagulation therapy, our Interventional Radiologists are often able to remove the immediate threat and take a significant step in preventing the chronic consequences associated with DVT.
Typically your referring physician will schedule an appointment for you. If you have been asked to schedule the appointment yourself, please have your physician's order and any pre-authorization information required by your insurance or health plan provider in hand, and call 704-333-3794.