Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that usually affects a leg vein, but if the clot breaks off, it could cause a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism. If you think you might have a DVT, seek urgent help from Bud Shuler, MD, and Natasha Gray, MCMSc, PA-C, of Vascular Associates, LLC in Panama City and Panama City Beach, Florida. Dr. Shuler is a board-certified vascular surgeon with many years of experience in diagnosing and treating DVT. Call the practice to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of your deep veins. DVT is most likely to occur in your calf, thigh, or pelvis, but less commonly it can occur in your arm, chest, or elsewhere.
Arteries are blood vessels that transport oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Veins are blood vessels that return the blood to your heart.
Superficial veins are close to your skin. Deep veins are inside your muscles and lead to the vena cava veins. The vena cava are your body's largest two veins, each running directly to your heart. Perforating veins connect your superficial veins to your deep veins with one-way valves.
If a blood clot develops in a deep vein, it blocks the flow of blood back to your heart, which can lead to serious complications.
DVT is dangerous because it can lead to a pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening condition. A pulmonary embolism develops when a blood clot breaks free from your deep vein and travels through your bloodstream, lodging in your lungs.
A pulmonary embolism can block the blood flow in your lungs, putting a strain on your heart and affecting your breathing. A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency — a large embolism can be fatal within a short time.
About half of all DVT cases don't cause symptoms. The symptoms you get can depend on the location and size of the blood clot, but might include:
You might also have leg pain that worsens when you walk or stand, and could be severe. These symptoms usually affect only one leg.
DVT is a consequence of a circulatory problem or an issue with the way your blood clots. Factors that can increase your risk of developing DVT include:
The more risk factors you have, the higher your chances are of developing a DVT.
The Vascular Associates, LLC team acts quickly if they suspect you have a DVT. They have an onsite Vascular Diagnostic Center at each office and can use advanced ultrasound technology to locate any clots.
If you have a DVT, there are several treatment options. These include anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medication, thrombolytic therapy to break up the clot, and minimally invasive thrombolysis to remove or dissolve the clot.
If you're concerned you might have a DVT, call Vascular Associates, LLC immediately or schedule an urgent consultation online.