From Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes to What is Spontaneous DVT – Here’re 15 FAQs and Their Answers

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein located deep inside the body. Though they commonly develop in the thigh or lower leg, they can also form in other areas of your body. Here are 15 FAQs and their answers that will help you understand more about DVT:

  1. What are the signs of DVT? Those suffering from DVT may experience cramping in one leg (very rarely in both the legs) and swelling around the painful area. The skin around the painful area may look red or darkened and it may feel warm. The veins may appear to be swollen or bulging.
  1. What causes DVT? When the blood moves too slowly in the veins, it can cause blood cells to clump together and form a clot. When a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside the body, it is called DVT. Though it can develop in any part of the body, it usually develops on the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. Age, pregnancy, too much weight, smoking and certain hereditary blood disorders increase the risk of someone developing DVT. There are several reasons for blood clots to develop in the legs.
  1. How are DVT and pulmonary embolism related? When DVT is left untreated, it can lead to many complications. Pulmonary embolism is one of them. Pulmonary embolism usually happens DVT in your leg, travels to your lungs and blocks a blood vessel. That leads to low oxygen levels in your blood. It can damage the lung and other organs. In the worst scenario, it can cause heart failure.
  1. How is DVT diagnosed? To diagnose DVT, a vascular specialist will ask you about your symptoms. A physical exam will be done to check for areas of swelling, tenderness or changes in skin color. The doctor will also request for X-Ray, CT scan and MRI scan to check for the presence of blood clots in the leg veins. These tests may be followed by a color doppler scan that will provide the visual images of the veins to the vascular specialist.
  1. How is DVT treated? The aim of the treatment is to prevent the blood clot from getting bigger and traveling to the lungs. The vascular specialist may prescribe blood thinners to prevent blood clots from getting bigger and reduce the risk of developing more clots. The best treatment for DVT is laser surgery as it removes all damaged veins in a single sitting.
  1. Is laser treatment for DVT safe? Yes, laser treatment for DVT has a high rate of success. The surgery blocks all the damaged veins without affecting the healthy veins. Laser surgery overcomes the problem of blood pooling and prevents the formation of more blood clots.
  1. How is DVT prevented? Maintaining healthy body weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and not smoking — can help you lower the risk of developing a DVT. If you have certain medical conditions or inherited blood disorders, you must consult a vascular specialist and have a treatment plan in place to minimize the risk of DVT.
  1. Does compression stockings help in reducing swelling? Compression stockings give support to the lower legs and help the blood return to the heart, thus reducing swelling. However, you must consult a vascular specialist before wearing one. 
  1. Do lifestyle changes help in managing DVT? Yes, exercising regularly and eating healthy food can help you lower the risk of developing DVT.
  1. Who is at the risk of developing DVT? Age, pregnancy, too much body weight, smoking, family history of DVT and certain medical conditions increase your risk of developing DVT. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of DVT.
  1. How helpful is exercising in the management of DVT? Exercising regularly can be very beneficial for people suffering from DVT as physical activity helps in blood circulation and eases symptoms like swelling.
  1. Does healthy diet help with DVT? A fiber-rich diet is linked to lowering the risk of DVT. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be an important part of the diet. Patients with DVT should avoid having processed food.
  1. What are the DVT-related complications? Pulmonary Embolism( PE) is the most serious complication of DVT that can happen. It occurs when a blot clot travels to the lungs. Though PE can be cured, it could do some lasting damage to the lungs.
  1. Does pregnancy increase your risk of DVT? Muscle cramps are common during pregnancy. They typically affect the calf, particularly at night during the second and third trimesters. DVT is easy to treat during pregnancy.
  1. Is it safe to fly if you have DVT? Sitting for extended periods of time in cramped seats may slow blood circulation. If you have been diagnosed with DVT, speak to your doctor regarding the precautions you should take before flying.