Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes
DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis refers to the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins. Also known as post thrombotic syndrome, as many as 60,000 new cases of DVT are reported every year.
In our body, the deep veins are surrounded by powerful muscles that send the deoxygenated blood back to the heart by regular contraction. These muscles help squeeze up the blood against the gravitational pull and the one-way valves of the leg veins ensure that the blood does not flow back to the feet in between the muscle contractions.
For some people, these valves do not function as desired and tend to prevent the blood from flowing back to the heart. This causes extreme blood pooling and leads to swelling thus providing an ideal setting for the formation of blood clots in the deep veins.
DVT is a serious medical ailment as any delay or lack of treatment can not only cause permanent damage to the leg but also lead to other life-threatening health conditions such as pulmonary embolism(presence of blood clot in the lungs).
Patients above the age of 40 years especially women are at a considerably higher risk for DVT. Obesity accompanied by poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle also increase the chances of DVT.
In some cases, DVT has also been associated with hormonal changes such as those that occur during hormone therapy, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and post-partum. DVT is also genetic and thus the people who have a family history of blood clots must keep a close eye for any early signs and seek timely treatment.
In general, people who are employed in professions that require them to sit or stand for long durations at a stretch have also been found to be a greater risk of vascular disorders such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. Other less common causes of DVT include – previous or current cancer, limb injury that leads to bed rest and thus immobility, and coagulation abnormalities.
DVT can be easily recognized by its prevalent symptoms of pain in the lower leg, especially the calves. Patients may also experience tenderness in the affected area and complain of leg fatigue. The skin in the lower leg region is also usually warmer to touch.
As DVT is caused due to excessive blood pooling, there is visible swelling on the legs due to the enlarged veins. In most cases, the surface veins become clearly visible and there may also be slight skin discoloration in the affected area.
In order to diagnose deep vein thrombosis, doctors usually request for radiology scans such as X-Ray, CT scan, and MRI scan to check for the presence of blood clots in the leg veins. Some doctors may also ask for blood work to cross verify their diagnosis.
These diagnostic tests are followed by the colour doppler scan that is a form of an ultrasound scan. It uses sound waves to provide visual images of the veins to the doctor. With the help of a colour doppler ultrasound scan, the doctor is able to identify all damaged veins and also locate the exact position of the blood clot.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Treatment for DVT is aimed at restricting the clot from growing bigger and preventing it from breaking free. If the blood clot in the deep veins breaks free, it can travel to any other body parts. The condition can get critical if this blood clot reaches the lungs and cuts off the oxygen supply to the body.
In most cases, doctors recommend blood thinners or anticoagulants that decrease the ability of the blood to clot. These may not help in removing the clot but definitely prevent it from growing in size. Doctors may also suggest compression stockings as these are known to help in restoring normal blood circulation.
However, the best solution for DVT is a non-surgical process of endovenous laser ablation. It is a painless and minimally invasive treatment that removes all damaged veins in a single sitting. The body automatically re-routes the blood to neighbouring healthier veins. This helps overcome the problem of blood pooling and prevents the formation of blood clots in the deep veins.
Varicose veins Symptoms, Causes and Advance Treatment
What causes blood clot in leg?
The formation of a blood clot in the leg veins is caused when the blood moves too slowly and clumps together. Poor blood circulation and certain medical conditions can result in blood clots. Smokinf and prolonged sitting can increase the risk of blood clots.
How long does it take to dissolve a blood clot in the leg?
A blood clot in the leg can take weeks or months to totally dissolve. Even a very minor issue like surface clot can take a few weeks to dissolve. However, at times clots form in the veins and don’t dissolve naturally. This can be serious and require an immediate diagnosis.
What is the treatment for a blood clot in the leg?
A vascular expert may prescribe blood thinner and compressed stockings. In some cases, laser treatment may also be recommended. The laser treatment involves blocking the damaged veins.
What is the treatment for DVT in the leg?
The endovenous laser ablation is the best treatment option for DVT. This minimally invasive and painless treatment blocks the damaged veins without affecting the healthy ones. It is best to consult a vascular expert to know the course of treatment that suits your condition the most.
How long does a DVT take to develop?
Most people with DVT have symptoms for several weeks to months. With proper treatment, DVT can heal in a few weeks or months. If diagnosed with DVT, one should seek treatment at the earliest. If you have a family history DVT, be watchful of the symptoms.
How is DVT diagnosed?
A vascular specialist will ask you about the symptoms to diagnose DVT. To check for swelling areas, skin discolouration, or tenderness, a physical test will be conducted. A CT scan, MRI, or a colour doppler test may also be recommended to check for the presence of blood clots.
What are the risks of DVT?
Obesity, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and age are the common risk factors of DVT. However, women and those who have a family history of blood clots are at higher risk for the condition. Other less common risk factors are current or previous cancer, coagulation abnormalities, and limb injuries.
What are the main causes of deep vein thrombosis?
DVT is caused when the blood moves too slowly in the veins, resulting in the formation of blood clots. Though it can develop in any body part, lower leg is the commonly affected area.
How serious is a DVT in the leg?
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious medical condition and if it is left untreated for long it can cause permanent damage to your leg. Not just that, the blood clot can travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition.
What are the warning signs of deep vein thrombosis?
The warning signs of deep vein thrombosis are: cramps in one leg (very rarely in both legs), swelling around the affected area, the skin may feel warm, skin colour darkens and changes to red, and the veins may appear swollen or bulging.
Is there a laser treatment for DVT?
Yes, there is a laser treatment for DVT that has a high rate of success. The process is called the endovenous laser ablation technique, which is safe and minimally invasive. The surgery seals the damaged veins without affecting the healthy veins.
What is the non surgical procedure to treat DVT?
The most preferred non-surgical procedure to treat DVT is the endovenous laser ablation process. It is a minimally invasive procedure that seals the damaged veins in a single sitting. It is painless and safe.
How to prevent blood clots in veins?
To prevent blood clots in veins, you should maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking and eat healthy food. If you have inherited blood disorders or certain medical conditions, consult our vascular specialists for early diagnosis.
How to determine the exact position of a blood clot?
To locate the exact position of the blood clot, the vascular specialist will ask you to undergo a colour doppler ultrasound scan, similar to an X-Ray scan. This will also help identify damaged veins.
What is leg fatigue?
Often, poor blood circulation affects the lower region of your body, which makes the legs feel tired and heavy. It prevents the blood from flowing back to the heart, causing pooling of blood. Due to this, patients experience achiness in the affected area.