Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more veins, usually in your legs. The blockages are caused by anything that impedes the normal circulation of your blood, or promotes clotting. DVT can be brought on by long sedentary periods, such as recovery from surgery or extended airplane flights. Certain medical conditions and medications can lead to DVT. Women who are pregnant or just gave birth are also at risk.

DVT can occur at any age, but is more common after age 60, and more likely to develop if you smoke, use oral contraceptives, or have a family history of clotting disorder. With DVT, it is possible for a blood clot to break free and travel to your lungs, where it can block blood flow and cause serious respiratory issues and sometimes death.

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, rapid pulse or are coughing up blood, seek immediate medical attention. Treatment of DVT may range from compression stockings and blood thinning medications to surgical removal of the clot. Exercise lowers your risk and is especially important if you sit or travel frequently.

Symptoms may include

  • Calf or thigh pain
  • Skin redness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth and tenderness

Treatments

  • Thrombectomy