Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, typically in the legs. Read on to find out more about DVT and its treatment.
In the United States, over 600,000 new cases of DVT are diagnosed each year. During DVT, blood clots occur in deep veins because your veins are injured or the blood flowing through them is too slow. The blood clots either partially or completely restrict blood flow through your vein. It is most common for DVTs to happen in your lower leg, but they can occur in other body areas such as the arm, brain, or liver.
DVT is most common in adults over the age of 60, but can occur in people of any age. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the development of DVT. Although risk factors increase a person’s risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Some common risk factors for DVT include being sedentary for too long, a family history of blood clots, obesity, and pregnancy. DVT is nicknamed “Economy Class Syndrome” due to the occurrence after sitting on long flights.
About 50% of people with DVT do not experience any symptoms. However, the most common symptoms include swelling, pain, tenderness, and redness at the affected site. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Diagnosing DVT requires tests performed by a doctor.
DVT is not life-threatening, but it is possible for the blood clots to break free and travel through your bloodstream. In certain cases, they can travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). PEs can be life-threatening, so it is important to have DVT treated.
Catheter-directed thrombolysis is an effective treatment for DVT. The procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, and breaks up the blood clot to restore blood flow within the vein. A doctor inserts a catheter into the leg vein while being guided by imaging technology. Then, the catheter is placed into the clot, and a drug is infused to break up the clot. Typically, it takes one to two days for the clot to fully dissolve. Catheter-directed thrombolysis for DVT gives patients the best chance at avoiding long-term symptoms.
DVT Treatment at Memphis Vascular Center
Memphis Vascular Center offers catheter-directed thrombolysis for DVT. If you would like to learn more about DVT treatment or schedule your appointment, please give us a call at 901-683-1890.
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