Deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a common vein condition which can sometimes be difficult to spot, and without the proper treatment can lead to fatal complications. Each March, we’re committed to raising awareness about DVT and making sure you know how to recognize the signs and symptoms.
While spider veins and varicose veins tend to have clear, apparent, visual symptoms, DVT can sometimes be lurking below the surface without any obvious signs. This is because DVT occurs in deep veins rather than superficial veins, often surrounded by muscle tissue and hidden from the eye.
DVT is the formation of a blood clot, or thrombus, in the deep veins most often in the legs, which interrupts normal blood flow and circulation.
Common Symptoms of DVT Include:
- Swelling of the affected limb(s)
- Pain or discomfort
- Paleness, redness or discoloration of the skin
- Increased heat around the affected area, similar to a wound or infection
While the symptoms listed above are commonly linked with DVT, they can also be caused by other vein conditions or simply muscle strain or inflammation. Further, a majority of DVT cases do not exhibit any immediate symptoms at all, making this condition difficult to clearly diagnose.
The only way to know for sure whether you may be experiencing DVT is to consult with a vein specialist, who can rule out or confirm DVT through ultrasound or blood work.
Are You at Risk for DVT?
Individuals over the age of 60 are at highest risk for DVT. If you have one or more of these risk factors, we highly recommend you seek further attention immediately to prevent more serious complications:
- Previous diagnosis of DVT or pulmonary embolism
- Hereditary disposition to clotting (thrombophilia)
- Cigarette smoking
- Recently undergone major surgery (especially in legs, hips, or pelvis)
- Pregnancy or giving birth within the last 6 months
- Heart disease
- Certain autoimmune disorders, such as lupus
- Hormone replacement therapy or birth control (this risk is compounded by smoking)
Don’t let DVT sneak up on you. Call Bunker Vein today at (512) 726-0599 if you think there’s even a small chance you may be at risk, or contact us online to schedule a free screening.