Post- Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs, which can block the blood flow in blood vessels. Such a blocked vein leads to fluid buildup and swelling. Post-Thrombotic Syndrome( PTS) is a long-term complication that may develop following Deep Vein Thrombosis. It may develop in the weeks or months following a DVT and condition occurs if the individual is not indulging in the proper treatment for DVT.
Signs of Post- Thrombotic Syndrome
This is a chronic syndrome with various sporadic or persistent symptoms and signs of the lower limb, few of which are:
- Heavy feeling in your leg
- Painful Venous ulcers
- Vein dilation
- Itching, tingling, or cramping in your leg
- Chronic leg pain
- Swelling in the limb
- Darkening or redness of the skin around your leg
How is PTS Diagnosed?
There is no gold standard test for diagnosing PTS. Patients who present themselves with typical lower limb symptoms, later than few months following an acute DVT, and without any other clear cause, are considered to have developed PTS.
As part of the diagnosis, you may be required to do: Blood tests to detect problems related to blood clotting and / or Ultrasound to detect problems in the valves in leg veins.
Causes of the Disease
The leading cause of PTS is the valves or walls of the veins being damaged because of occurrence of DVT.
Acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) causes obstruction of venous outflow. The veins in your legs have tiny valves that help keep blood moving back up toward the heart. But a DVT may damage these valves. This causes them to weaken or leak. When this happens, blood starts pooling in your legs causing swelling and major discomfort in the legs.
How DVT Progresses
The vein walls may be scarred and damaged after DVT occurs. Such scarred veins unlike the normal veins do not expand. During certain physical activities like walking, the blood flow through the veins is increased. Now due to the damaged veins that cannot expand, swelling and throbbing pain develops in the lower portion of your legs.
The condition worsens with time and can cause serious skin damage on your leg. It may lead to itchiness, dryness around your ankles and major skin discoloration. A more serious condition occurs when skin starts feeling leathery, rough and turns brown. Even a small cut or abrasion in this area can turn into a bigger sore which never heals – a major complication termed as “Venous Ulcer” which can even be infectious.
Over time, if ignored, the veins can be completely blocked off and the condition could result in serious consequences which could potentially even threaten your mobility.
Preventing Post- Thrombotic Syndrome
It is possible to reduce the risk of PTS by lowering your risk of DVT. The quicker the clot is dissolved the less will be the damage to the valves and walls of the veins. Your doctor at Avis vascular Center as can provide additional tips to help you prevent this condition.