Deep Vein Thrombosis

Commonwealth Vein Center

Vascular, Vein and Wound Specialists & Cardiologists located in Colonial Heights, VA & Richmond, VA, & McLean, VA

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein. When left untreated, a DVT may cause serious health problems if it breaks from the vein. At Commonwealth Vein Center in Colonial Heights, Richmond, and McLean, Virginia, the team of vascular, vein, and wound specialists can diagnose and treat deep vein thrombosis. For expert care, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Q & A

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a deep vein. These clots may occur in any veins in the body but most often develop in the legs or arms. 

There are many factors that may contribute to the development of deep vein thrombosis. Common factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Side effect of certain medications
  • Injury to the leg
  • Side effect of orthopedic surgery

When left untreated, the blood clot may break from its spot and travel to your pulmonary artery, causing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. That is why it’s important to get care for DVT right away.

What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?

During the early stages of deep vein thrombosis, you may have pain and swelling in the area of your blood clot. The skin may also be red and warm to the touch. 

Your DVT may also cause swelling in the veins that are closer to the skin, causing varicose veins. 

If you have deep vein thrombosis or suspect you do and suddenly develop chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or sweating, you may have a pulmonary embolism. With these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away. 

Not everyone with a DVT has symptoms.

How is deep vein thrombosis diagnosed?

The Commonwealth Vein Center team performs thorough examinations when you come in with concerns about leg pain or swelling or other symptoms that sound like deep vein thrombosis.

Your provider reviews your symptoms and medical history and completes a physical examination. They also perform diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out DVT. Testing may include:

Venous ultrasound

A venous ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging test that uses ultrasound technology to evaluate blood circulation in your veins. 

Venography

If your venous ultrasound images are unclear, the team may perform venography. For this test, they inject a contrast dye into a blood vessel and take X-rays to look for DVT.

How is deep vein thrombosis treated?

The Commonwealth Vein Center team customizes your deep vein thrombosis treatment plan based on the location and size of your blood clot. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Compression stockings
  • Leg exercises
  • Avoiding activities that may lead to injuries to the area of your DVT

When conservative care fails to dissolve your deep vein thrombosis clot, they may perform a deep vein stenting procedure. The procedure improves blood flow through your vein and prevents the blood clot from breaking free.

Call Commonwealth Vein Center or schedule your deep vein thrombosis exam online today.