5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis

a woman with signs of deep vein thrombosis in her legs

Do you feel any pain and swelling in your lower leg, thigh, or pelvis? Do you have any existing conditions that may cause blood clots?

If yes, you have to be careful of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep veins in your body. The condition usually occurs on the legs, thigh, or pelvis, and causes pain and swelling.

The blood clot forms if you don’t move for a long time, such as when you’re on bed rest or sitting for long periods.

Deep vein thrombosis needs serious medical attention. Blood clots in leg veins can break loose, pass through your bloodstream, stay in your lungs, and block proper blood flow (also known as pulmonary embolism).

Read on to find more about the signs of deep vein thrombosis and how you can treat it.

5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

People who are over 60, smoking, overweight, or tend to sit or lie in the bed for long periods, should be extra careful of getting a deep vein thrombosis. Seek medical attention from experts immediately if you see these common signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis:

  1. Leg pain that starts in your calf and worsens when bending your foot
  2. Swelling and tenderness
  3. Skin warmness in the affected leg and other areas
  4. Cramps
  5. Redness or discoloration of the affected skin (can also be bluish or whitish)

The Warning Signs of DVT

Aside from the abovementioned symptoms of DVT, you have to be extra careful if you also get these warning signs:

  • Sudden coughing (with blood)
  • Sharp, painful, or tight chest
  • Painful shoulder, back, jaw, or arm
  • Shortness of breath, which may be difficult and painful
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or worse, fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Rapid pulse

Call 911 or proceed to an emergency room right away. These are warning symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE), one of the life-threatening complications of DVT. 

Pulmonary embolism occurs when your blood clot breaks free, travels to your lungs, and blocks your blood flow.

Health problems like pulmonary embolism can be deadly and need emergency medical attention.

DVT Complications

Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) happens to about one-third or one-half of DVT patients. This long-term complication occurs when the blood clot damages the valves in the vein.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the most severe complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and is associated with PTS.

VTE is the combination of pulmonary embolism (PE) and DVT. This happens when the blood clots break off and pose damages to your lungs and blood flow.

A small blood clot is still manageable with urgent and appropriate treatment. VTE patients with this condition can still recover.

However, large blood clots can be fatal. Your blood may not reach your lungs, hence the life-threatening damage and the PTS.

In addition to the common symptoms of DVT, severe PTS patients can experience scaling or ulcers, and worse, getting disabled.

Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Certain risk factors can increase your chances of suffering from deep venous thrombosis (DVT), including:

Vein Injury

Vein injuries caused by fractures, muscle injuries, or surgical procedures in the abdomen and lower parts of the body are among the risk factors for DVT.

Poor Blood Circulation

Poor blood circulation slows down the flow of blood in the body and increases your risk of DVT. The condition occurs when:

  • You’ve been confined to bed for long periods
  • You have limited lower body movement, or
  • You are suffering from paralysis

Increased Estrogen Production

Increase your estrogen production may also increase your risk of developing DVT in your legs. If you’re under birth control pills, hormone therapy, or if you’re pregnant, always keep in touch with your doctor regarding your health condition.

Chronic Medical Conditions

Heart disease, lung complications, cancer, and inflammatory bowel illnesses can also increase your chances of having blood clots in your leg veins and the risk of getting DVT.

Other Health Conditions

You can be exposed to certain DVT symptoms if you have these health conditions:

  • Prior DVT or PE experience
  • DVT, PE, or blood clotting family history
  • Old age
  • Weight problems, including obesity
  • Central Venous Catheter

Smoking and Unhealthy Lifestyle

Similar to other diseases, people with unhealthy lifestyles and smoking habits are prone to DVT.

Always do a regular health check-up to avoid unwanted complications. Your doctor will provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment whenever appropriate.

DVT Prevention

medical compression stockings

Just like other medical concerns, you can still prevent DVT by doing the following:

  • Move around carefully after your bed confinement due to surgery, sickness, or injury.
  • For patients with a family history of DVT, PE, and blood clotting, discuss your health condition with your healthcare provider to monitor any symptoms. Your doctor may recommend you the following:
  • Usage of graduated compression stockings (medical compression stockings) as part of your compression therapy
  • Anticoagulant (blood-thinning medications)
  • Exercise regularly and avoid sitting for long periods
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle
  • Avoid Smoking

Treatment of DVT

After you’ve been diagnosed with DVT, your doctor will advise you to undergo any of these treatments:

  • Anticoagulant (blood-thinner) medicines
  • Vena cava filter in your tummy to trap and stop the blood clot from traveling to your heart and lungs (in case the anticoagulants don’t work)
  • Surgery for severe cases

Schedule A DVT Consultation Now!

Do you have any DVT symptoms in your legs or other parts of the body? Don’t ignore them! Even if the signs are still mild or moderate, ignoring them will only make it worse.

DVT is a serious condition. Worst case scenario could be fatal. However, taking appropriate measures can help you prevent or recover from it.

Consult your doctor or go to the nearest hospital immediately to conduct the right treatment procedures for your condition. Don’t delay seeking medical attention to avoid more danger and lengthier recovery time.

If you need a medical consultation for deep vein thrombosis or other vascular problems, VISP – Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you.

We have safe and top-level care treatment for various vascular problems with quick recovery time!

Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today.

Author Profile

Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott was formed in 2010 by a group of subspecialty radiologists that perform numerous minimally-invasive, low-risk procedures using the tools of our trade for guidance—x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. The team’s goal is to educate patients and medical communities, while also providing safe and compassionate health care, with rapid recovery times and low risk of complications.