Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
What is deep vein thrombosis?
Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body, whereas your veins are the blood vessels that return oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. You have three kinds of veins. Superficial veins lie close to your skin, and the deep veins lie in groups of muscles. Perforating veins connect the superficial veins to the deep veins with one-way valves. Deep veins lead to the vena cava, your body’s largest vein, which runs directly to your heart. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of the deep veins. Usually, DVT occurs in your pelvis, thigh, or calf, but it can also occur less commonly in your arm, chest, or other locations.
DVT can cause sudden swelling, pain or a sensation of warmth. DVT can be dangerous because it can cause a complication known as pulmonary embolism. In this condition, a blood clot breaks free from your deep veins, travels through your bloodstream, and lodges in your lungs. This clot can block blood flow in your lungs, which can strain your heart and lungs. A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency. A large embolism can be fatal in a short time.
It can sometimes be difficult to recognize the symptoms of DVT. However, the condition can be effectively treated once your physician diagnoses it.
What are the symptoms?
About half of all DVT cases do not cause symptoms. The symptoms you feel can depend on the location and size of your blood clot. They include swelling, tenderness, leg pain that may worsen when you walk or stand, a sensation of warmth, and skin that turns blue or red.