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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Causes, symptoms and treatment

  • Posted on- Oct 05, 2016
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When a blood clot is formed in a deep vein, often in the leg, the condition is termed as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The other name of the condition is deep venous thrombosis. The femoral or the popliteal veins in the legs may be affected with this condition. This condition may also affect some of the veins in the pelvic region. In some rare cases, the veins in the arms may also be affected with this condition. In deep vein thrombosis, the blood flow in the vein can either be blocked partially or completely, due to the blood clot.

Causes of deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is caused by several factors including injury to the veins, decreased blood flow in the veins, and the tendency of the blood to clot. Hence, people affected by paralysis, with a cast on the leg for healing a fractured bone, confined to bed for longer duration for medical or surgical reasons, and sitting crossed legs for longer duration are at a higher risk of developing this disease.

The tendency of the blood to clot is increased because of certain conditions. While some conditions are developed in one's life, some others are inherited by birth. Use of birth control pills, the state of pregnancy, the decease cancer, and ulcerative colitis and some unusual blood conditions are examples of acquired conditions. Deficiencies in blood components, on the other hand, are owned by birth.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis

Tenderness and pain in the legs, swelling, increased warmth, and redness of the skin, are some of the common symptoms. The malaise can be examined with the help of x-rays, Doppler scans, plethysmography, and blood tests. The causes of increased clotting known as hypercoagulability can be understood by the means of blood tests.

Treatment of deep vein thrombosis

The first step in treatment for deep vein thrombosis is the blood test called D-Dimer. With the results of blood test the physician will be able to ascertain, whether the patient indeed has DVT. This test helps in measuring a substance, which is formed, when a blood clot breaks down. The aim of chronic deep vein thrombosis treatment is to prevent the blood clot from growing in size. It is also important that measures be taken to ensure that the blood clot does not travel towards the heart or lungs. At the same time, it is equally important that recurrence of blood clots is prevented.


Most patients are prescribed anticoagulants to ensure that the blood clots do not grow bigger in size. The anticoagulants also prevent the blood clot from disintegrating and travelling to other parts of the body. At the same time, they also prevent formation of any new clots. There are two types of anticoagulants, which are prescribed to the patients, i.e. Heparin and Warfarin.

Warm Compress

A number of patients have benefited a great deal from using warm compress. The warm compress has to be placed on the area affected with DVT. It helps in better circulation of blood in the affected area. It is a part of the superficial treatment, which also helps in preventing any further formation of clots. Using the hot compress also helps in reducing the size of the blood clot, which further helps in the blood circulation process.

Compression Stockings

The other name of compression stockings is graduated compression stockings. They are prescribed to patients, who suffer from pain and swelling in the legs. Using the compression stockings regularly helps in reducing these symptoms. They may also be given to patients after surgery to prevent the occurrence of DVT again.


Exercises also have an important role to play in deep vein thrombosis. It helps in regularising blood circulation, which in turn helps in treating the condition. After consulting the physiotherapist, the right exercises can be decided. Some of the stretching exercises can also be included in the exercise regime.

It is important to treat the deep vein thrombosis. Treatment measures should be followed as prescribed by the doctor. It is advisable not to self treat the condition, for it can have serious consequences. If you suffer from breathing difficulties, chest pain, palpitations, etc., then it is best to consult your health care professional, as the condition can prove to be fatal.


user profile image
10-05-2017 02:36 PM

After being in an automobile accident where my car was hit by another vehicle, I had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in my leg. The treatment was then taken and the results are quite good.

user profile image
09-12-2016 05:41 PM

I rolled my ankle in January of 2012 playing tennis. I went directly to the emergency room and the treatment was taken.

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