As its name suggests, Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition whereby a clot (or thrombus) forms in in the deep vein system. Deep veins, such as the femoral vein, are vastly important for moving the blood toward the heart. They carry 90% or more of the blood from the legs into the heart. When a person suffers injury to these veins, he or she is also likely to experience a slowing of blood flow which creates a propensity for the blood to clot. Left untreated, this condition can become lethal.
The aforementioned factors—damage to the veins, slowed blood flow and blood coagulation–are three of the most common causes of thrombosis. While thrombosis is inherently dangerous, the health risk is enhanced when blood clots travel to vital organs like the lungs. For example, a pulmonary embolism is the result of a clot migrating to a lung artery. This blockage to the artery in turn compromises the ability of the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the body. The heart thus experiences added strain and blood does not travel to the organs as easily.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is usually treated with anticoagulant drugs, clot busting medicine (thrombolytic agents,) and or surgical procedures. Anticoagulant drugs thin the blood, preventing new clots from forming and existing clots from enlarging. Clot busting medicine is used in the event clots are very large and cause pain, and when the person is at high risk of pulmonary embolism. The medicine breaks up the clot to enhance blood flow. Surgery may be necessary to support blood flow when the first two methods are ineffective. A catheter, for example, can be introduced into the pulmonary artery to support blood circulation by enlarging the blood vessel.
While the health risks are greatly reduced with such treatments, some patient still experience discomfort. Post-thrombotic syndrome is a condition that develops in almost half of all who experience Deep Vein Thrombosis. The symptoms include recurrent pain in the leg, swelling and redness. A clot that is not treated limits blood flow and allows for fluid to collect in the lower leg more readily. This can make the leg swollen, painful and prone to ulcers. Other symptoms are leg heaviness, itchiness, tingling, cramping and sores on the leg.
It is imperative that anyone who has been diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis follow the doctor’s prescribed regimen closely. Such patients will likely need to follow-up with their physician regularly to monitor their blood circulation and assess the effectiveness of the treatment. Seeking advice from a venous expert is also highly recommended, as the side effects of Deep Vein Thrombosis might be severe.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described in this article, the Miami Vein Center is the ideal place for you to seek treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis in Miami. Thanks to Dr. Almeida’s world-renowned expertise and our highly qualified team, patients gain a thorough understanding of how their medical history and lifestyle affect their risk of developing thrombosis. Treatment plans are tailored to meet each patient’s needs and symptoms.