What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
DVT is a blood clot that can form in either the deep veins of the legs or the veins of the upper extremities. Each year, 600,000 Americans are diagnosed with DVT, but there are ways to prevent becoming part of that statistic.
Symptoms of DVT
About half of people with DVT don’t show symptoms. However, other people experience symptoms such as:
- Swelling in either one leg or both legs
- Red/Discolored skin in the leg affected with DVT
- Surface veins that are visible
- Leg fatigue and heaviness
To ensure that you are able to prevent DVT, take the following steps:
- Exercise regularly and remain active
- Avoid smoking. Smoking can cause the blood vessels to tighten and can restrict the blood flow, causing blood clots.
- Check your blood pressure regularly. If it’s high, take the necessary steps to lower it.
- Finding alternatives for birth control pills and hormone-replacement therapy can help reduce the risk of clotting
- If you’re sitting in one spot, such as an airplane, for more than four hours, walk around or do leg stretches from time to time. It’s also important to stay well hydrated and avoid alcohol consumption.
Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis
There are many ways to treat DVT. The most common forms of treatment include blood thinners and and Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis. If your DVT has caused surface veins, there are vein treatment options such as Injection Sclerotherapy, a procedure in which a fine needle is used to shrink the veins.