Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Symptoms, Causes, and More

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a severe situation that happens when a blood clot varieties in a vein situated deep inside your physique. A blood clot is a clump of blood that’s turned to a strong state.

Deep vein blood clots usually type in your thigh or decrease leg, however they will additionally develop in different areas of your physique. Different names related to this situation might embrace:

  • thromboembolism
  • post-thrombotic syndrome
  • postphlebitic syndrome
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Hand edema thrombosis. Picture by the Emergency Drugs Division, Columbia College Medical Heart, New York, NY, 10032, USA.

Based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), signs of DVT solely happen in about half of the individuals who have this situation.

Frequent DVT signs embrace:

  • swelling in your foot, ankle, or leg, often on one aspect
  • cramping ache in your affected leg that often begins in your calf
  • extreme, unexplained ache in your foot and ankle
  • an space of pores and skin that feels hotter than the pores and skin on the encircling areas
  • pores and skin over the affected space turning pale or a reddish or bluish colour, relying on pores and skin tone

Folks with an higher extremity DVT, or a blood clot within the arm, might not expertise signs. In the event that they do, frequent signs embrace:

Folks might not discover out that they’ve DVT till they’ve gone by way of emergency remedy for a pulmonary embolism (blood clot within the lung).

A pulmonary embolism can occur when a DVT clot has moved from the arm or leg into the lung. When an artery within the lung turns into blocked, it’s a life threatening situation and requires emergency care.

DVT is attributable to a blood clot. The clot blocks a vein, stopping blood from correctly circulating in your physique. Clotting might happen for a number of causes. These embrace:

  • Damage. Injury to a blood vessel’s wall can slim or block blood stream. A blood clot might type because of this.
  • Surgical procedure. Blood vessels could be broken throughout surgical procedure, which may result in the event of a blood clot. Mattress relaxation with little to no motion after surgical procedure may improve your danger of creating a blood clot.
  • Decreased mobility or inactivity. Whenever you sit continuously, blood can accumulate in your legs, particularly the decrease components. In case you’re unable to maneuver for prolonged durations of time, the blood stream in your legs can decelerate. This may trigger a clot to develop.
  • Sure medicines. Some medicines improve the possibilities your blood will type a clot.

DVT is a severe medical situation. Inform your physician instantly in case you assume you’re experiencing signs of DVT, or go to the closest emergency room. A healthcare skilled can try your signs.

DVT therapies concentrate on holding the clot from rising. As well as, remedy might assist forestall a pulmonary embolism and decrease your danger of getting extra clots.


Your physician may prescribe medicines to skinny your blood, like:

Blood-thinning medicines make it tougher in your blood to clot. In addition they maintain present clots as small as doable and reduces the possibility that you simply’ll develop extra clots.

If blood thinners don’t work, or if the DVT is extreme, your physician may use thrombolytic medicine. Folks with higher extremity DVT may profit from this remedy.

Thrombolytic medicine work by breaking apart clots. You’ll obtain these intravenously (by way of a vein).

Compression stockings

In case you’re at excessive danger of DVT, carrying compression stockings can forestall swelling and may decrease your probability of creating clots.

Compression stockings attain just under your knee or proper above it. Your physician might suggest you put on these on daily basis.


In case you’re not in a position to take blood thinners, you may must have a filter put inside the big stomach vein referred to as the vena cava. This type of remedy helps forestall pulmonary embolisms by stopping clots from coming into your lungs.

Filters do have dangers. In the event that they’re left in for too lengthy, they will really improve the danger of DVT. Filters ought to be used for a short-term interval, till the danger of thromboembolism is diminished and blood thinners can be utilized.

Your physician might counsel surgical procedure to take away a DVT clot in your arm or leg. That is usually solely really useful within the case of very giant blood clots or clots which might be inflicting severe points, like tissue injury.

Throughout a surgical thrombectomy, or surgical procedure to take away a blood clot, your surgeon will make an incision right into a blood vessel. They’ll find and take away the clot. Then, they’ll restore the blood vessel and tissue.

In some instances, they might use a small inflating balloon to maintain the blood vessel open whereas they take away the clot. When the clot is discovered and eliminated, the balloon is eliminated with it.

Surgical procedure isn’t with out dangers, so many docs will solely use this remedy in extreme instances. Dangers embrace:

  • an infection
  • injury to the blood vessel
  • extra bleeding

The longer you sit, the larger your danger of creating a blood clot. If it’s important to be seated for lengthy durations, there are workouts you are able to do whereas sitting to maintain your legs shifting and assist flow into blood.

Knee pulls

Bend your leg, and lift your knee towards your chest. Wrap your knee together with your arms for a larger stretch. Maintain this place for a number of seconds, then do the identical train on the opposite aspect.

Repeat these stretches a number of occasions.

Foot pumps

Place your toes flat on the ground. Conserving the balls of your toes on the ground, elevate your heels. Maintain for just a few seconds, then decrease your heels.

Elevate the balls of your toes off the ground, holding your heels in place. Maintain for just a few seconds, then decrease the balls of your toes.

Repeat these pumps a number of occasions.

Ankle circles

Elevate each toes off the ground. Draw circles together with your toes in a single path for just a few seconds. Change instructions, and draw circles for just a few seconds.

Repeat this train a number of occasions.

As soon as a DVT blood clot is identified, your physician will possible prescribe a medicine to assist skinny the blood or break up the clot.

You may mix the prescribed remedy with the next dwelling treatments to stop different issues and cut back the danger of future blood clots.

Transfer extra

If doable, take day by day walks to enhance blood stream. Shorter, frequent walks are higher than one longer stroll.

Preserve your leg or arm elevated

That is particularly necessary for the legs. Blood can pool in case your toes are on the bottom all day. Use a stool or chair to maintain your legs elevated and near degree together with your hips.

Put on compression stockings

These specifically designed stockings match tightly round your toes and turn out to be steadily looser as they transfer up your leg to your knee. The compression helps forestall pooling and swelling, and it will increase blood stream.

Most individuals don’t want them, however individuals at excessive danger of DVT might discover them helpful. Compression stockings could also be useful whenever you’re touring.

DVT happens mostly in people who find themselves over 50 years outdated. However DVT can nonetheless occur at any age.

Sure situations that alter how your blood strikes by way of your veins can elevate your danger of creating clots. These embrace:

  • having an damage that damages your veins, like a bone fracture
  • having obese or weight problems, which places extra strain on the veins in your legs and pelvis
  • having a household historical past of DVT
  • having a catheter positioned in a vein
  • taking contraception drugs or present process hormone remedy
  • smoking (particularly closely)
  • staying seated for a very long time when you’re in a automotive or on a aircraft, particularly if you have already got at the very least one different danger issue

Some situations can improve your danger of getting blood clots. These embrace:

DVT is a serious danger related to surgical procedure. That is very true in case you’re having a surgical procedure within the decrease extremities, like joint substitute surgical procedure.

You may decrease your danger of getting DVT by making just a few life-style modifications. These embrace:

Transferring your legs round whenever you’ve been sitting for some time additionally helps maintain your blood flowing. Strolling round after being on mattress relaxation can forestall clots from forming.

Take any blood thinners your physician prescribes in case you’re having surgical procedure, as this will decrease your probability of creating clots afterward.

The chance of creating DVT throughout journey turns into increased in case you’re sitting for greater than 4 hours. Decrease your danger by shifting round from time to time.

Throughout lengthy drives, get out of your automotive and stretch at common intervals. Stroll within the aisles in case you’re flying, taking a prepare, or driving a bus.

Stretch your legs and toes when you’re sitting. This retains your blood shifting steadily in your calves. Don’t put on tight garments that may limit blood stream. Problems of DVT are preventable.

Your physician will use your medical historical past, an intensive bodily examination, in addition to a number of diagnostic exams to search out or rule out DVT. These exams embrace:


That is probably the most generally used take a look at for diagnosing DVT. Ultrasound makes use of sound waves to create an image of your arteries and veins to see how blood flows by way of them.

If a clot is current, your physician will have the ability to see the interrupted blood stream and make the analysis.


If the ultrasound is inconclusive, your physician might order a venogram. Throughout this take a look at, a dye is injected into the vein in query. Then, an X-ray is taken over the world the place your physician suspects DVT is current.

The dye makes the vein extra seen, so interrupted blood stream could be simply seen.

D-dimer take a look at

A D-dimer blood take a look at measures the presence of a substance that’s launched when a blood clot breaks aside.

If ranges of the substance are excessive and you’ve got danger components for DVT, you possible have a clot. If ranges are regular and your danger components are low, you possible don’t.

A D-dimer blood take a look at can be an indicator of different components equivalent to a pulmonary embolism, stroke, being pregnant, or an infection, so your physician may have to make use of different exams to make sure of a analysis.

Different exams can be utilized to diagnose DVT if these will not be profitable.

A serious complication of DVT is a pulmonary embolism. You may develop a pulmonary embolism if a blood clot strikes to your lungs and blocks a blood vessel.

This may trigger severe injury to your lungs and different components of your physique. Get quick medical assist when you have indicators of a pulmonary embolism. These indicators embrace:

Being pregnant will increase the danger of DVT. In truth, pregnant persons are 5 to 10 occasions extra more likely to develop DVT than those that aren’t pregnant.

Whereas pregnant, the extent of blood-clotting proteins will increase, and the extent of anticlotting proteins falls.

Plus, elevated hormone ranges, and a slower blood stream as your uterus expands and restricts blood flowing again out of your decrease extremities, contribute to this danger.

The elevated danger continues till about 6 weeks after giving delivery. Being on mattress relaxation or having a cesarean supply, generally known as a C-section, additionally will increase your danger of getting DVT.

Stay watchful for signs of DVT when you’re pregnant.

Your danger of creating blood clots is increased when flying as a result of sitting for lengthy durations of time will increase the probabilities of DVT.

The longer the flight, the larger the danger. It’s particularly vital for individuals taking flights that final greater than 8 hours. Your danger additionally will increase in case you’re flying and already produce other danger components for DVT.

These measures might help you cut back your danger of a blood clot whereas flying:

  • Sit in an exit row or bulkhead seat so you’ve extra room to stretch and transfer your legs.
  • Put on compression stockings, which cut back blood pooling and assist keep blood stream.
  • Take any prescription blood thinners or aspirin as prescribed by your physician.
  • Do workouts together with your toes and legs to maintain blood flowing.
  • Stand up and stroll across the cabin through the flight.

Signs of a blood clot might not develop instantly after flying.

A nutrient-dense and balanced weight loss program is necessary for stopping DVT and serving to to keep away from life threatening issues.

Plus, a more healthy life-style incorporates lots of the modifications which might be obligatory to stop blood clots within the first place. This contains shifting extra, quitting smoking, and sustaining a reasonable weight.

You may decrease your danger of DVT and blood clots with a balanced weight loss program. Fruits, greens, and entire grains ship important nutritional vitamins and minerals.

A weight loss program excessive in fiber, fruits, and greens such because the Mediterranean weight loss program could also be finest for individuals susceptible to DVT or individuals who’ve had DVT earlier than, however analysis is required to assist this.

Some nutritional vitamins and minerals can intrude with DVT medicines. For instance, an excessive amount of vitamin Okay can bypass warfarin’s skill to skinny your blood and stop a clot.

Overview any nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements you’re taking together with your physician, and ask about doable interactions with medicines. It’s additionally necessary you discuss together with your physician about any meals or vitamins you must keep away from.

DVT is a severe situation that may very well be life threatening. Prognosis can usually be tough, as many individuals with DVT don’t expertise signs.

In case you don’t expertise signs, you could even be at a larger danger for all times threatening issues.

Because of this it’s necessary to pay attention to the danger components and share any signs together with your physician. They could prescribe remedy or different therapies that can assist you deal with DVT, however there are lots of issues you are able to do by yourself.

Transferring recurrently, carrying compression stockings, and adopting a balanced weight loss program are key methods to handle DVT danger.

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