Deep Vein Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot in the veins that are deep in the body, near the bone. When blood can’t flow properly through the veins, it can form a clot, also called a thrombosis. This most often occurs in the legs, as the vascular system struggles to move blood efficiently through the body, and against the pull of gravity. The real danger arises when the thrombosis breaks free from its location in the vein. It can then travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. About 25% of people that suffer a pulmonary embolism die suddenly, according to the Center for Disease Control. Those that survive spend the rest of their lives with the resulting complications and are more likely to have recurring thrombosis.
DVT is considered a chronic disease and a life-threatening condition. An accurate diagnosis and immediate medical treatment are necessary to prevent the complications that DVT can cause. Luckily, medical treatment and lifestyle changes are a proven way to manage this disease. (1) If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms of DVT, choose an experienced specialist. Dr. David Naar has been treating vein conditions for over 30 years. He and his dedicated staff at Premier Vein Center understand the urgency of vascular health. The clinic is located in Westlake, Ohio to conveniently serve the greater Cleveland area. Schedule an appointment today by calling (440) 461-0433. Your life could depend on it.
About Your Veins
The human body has miles of veins that carry blood to support its tissues. Your heart makes this gravity-defying feat happen. It moves thousands of liters of blood from the tips of your toes up to the top of your head every day. However, when blood isn’t able to move efficiently through the veins, a host of complications can occur, including DVT. Both DVT and pulmonary embolisms are aspects of venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the veins that can block arteries).
Much of what we know about venous thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis was first described in 1856 by Rudolf Virchow, a pioneer of medicine and cellular biology. The contributing factors to these blood clots are known as Virchow’s Triad: stasis, vessel damage, and hypercoagulability (2)
The most common cause of DVT is stasis when the blood flow slows and stops in the veins. This is why blood clots occur so often in the legs, which are farthest from the heart, and are prone to other vascular problems like varicose veins. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle or are bedridden are at greater risk for blood clots in the legs, since decreased muscle movement allows the blood flow to decrease and stagnate. (1)
When the blood vessel can’t get the supply of freshly oxygenated blood, this stresses the vein, causes damage, and also leads a blood clot to form. Those with existing vein issues from injuries or health conditions like chronic venous insufficiency also may be at risk for impaired blood flow and DVT.
There are other factors resulting from lifestyle and genetics that can make blood more likely to clot, or hypercoagulable.
Before and After Photos
Risk Factors for Developing DVT
Unfortunately, DVT and the pulmonary embolisms that result are all too common. Doctors see about 900,000 cases and 300,000 deaths from this condition every year in the United States. It’s important to know whether you are at risk.
Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis:
Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Cramping or tenderness in the calf or thigh
- Swelling in one leg
- Skin that feels warm to the touch
- Reddish color to the skin
Many people with DVT don’t experience any symptoms until it’s too late, and they have a pulmonary embolism. If you suspect that you may be at risk, or are experiencing any of the symptoms of DVT, call (440) 461-0433 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Naar.
Getting a Deep Vein Thrombosis Diagnosis in Cleveland
Choosing to see a vein specialist is an essential way to ensure your vascular and overall health. During your appointment with Dr. Naar, he will examine you for any outward signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis and discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing.
He’ll review your medical history, medications you’re taking, medical problems of close relatives, and other risk factors that you may pose. He’ll then conduct a series of tests so that he can make an efficient and accurate diagnosis.
These may include:
- An ultrasound vein scan
- Blood work
- MRI or CT scan
Treatment for DVT
Once Dr. Naar has diagnosed your condition as DVT, he’ll be able to determine the best course of treatment. In many cases, DVT is treated with an anticoagulant prescription (blood thinners). These medications keep blood clots from forming in the veins and prevent existing clots from becoming larger and more dangerous. (2)
Another treatment option is inserting an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. Only indicated in patients with high bleeding risk. A filter is placed into the inferior vena cava, which is the largest vein in your body. This filter catches blood clots before they can get to your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
After Your Diagnosis
You may need to make some important lifestyle changes. Staying active, putting your feet up when seated, and wearing compression socks can help to maintain a healthy blood flow. Dr. Naar will be able to advise other preventative measures to ensure that your DVT doesn’t keep you from anything life has to offer. To learn more about vascular health, and what you can do to maintain it, follow Dr. Naar’s blog.
How Much Does Treating DVT Cost in Cleveland?
The cost of your DVT diagnosis is covered by most insurance. It will depend on the kind of testing required to identify this condition or any other vascular condition that could pose a threat to your health. An ultrasound is usually sufficient for most patients. The price of treatment and preventative care will also depend on Dr. Naar’s recommendations. You’ll be counseled as to payment methods and given an accurate estimate of your cost at the time of treatment. But remember, left untreated, DVT could cause a pulmonary embolism, and cost you your life.
A thrombosis is a blood clot. The same process that stops your finger from bleeding after a papercut also happens inside the body. This is also called coagulation. The deep veins are the veins that run farther under the surface of the body than the superficial ones visible for example, on your wrists. Those with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are more likely to form blood clots in the deep veins, which can then travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism and death.
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a thrombosis or blood clot leaves the vein where it was formed and travels to the lungs, where it blocks an artery and prevents oxygenated blood flow to the rest of the body. This can cause lung damage, cardiac arrest, and damage to other organs and tissue in the body.
Certain diseases and injuries and genetic factors can cause DVT. It can also be brought on by inactivity. Lack of muscle movement can prevent blood from flowing effectively. Smoking and other blood disorders can cause blood to coagulate more readily, and form blood clots.
If you are at risk for deep vein thrombosis, or are experiencing symptoms like swollen or cramping painful legs, see a doctor immediately. DVT can be treated with lifestyle changes and a prescription medication that can keep blood clots from forming in your veins.
Snugly fitting compression socks apply an even layer of pressure to your lower legs and feet. This makes it easier for your body to return the flow of blood up your legs to become reoxygenated. Compression socks can prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities and causing soreness, swelling, and other vascular issues.
Ultrasounds don’t just show us babies. A doctor can use an ultrasound to scan your veins for any blood clots.
- Budnik, I., & Brill, A. (2018). Immune Factors in Deep Vein Thrombosis Initiation. Trends in immunology, 39(8), 610–623. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.it.2018.04.010
- Kumar, D. R., Hanlin, E., Glurich, I., Mazza, J. J., & Yale, S. H. (2010). Virchow’s contribution to the understanding of thrombosis and cellular biology. Clinical medicine & research, 8(3-4), 168–172. https://doi.org/10.3121/cmr.2009.866
- Wang, K. L., Chu, P. H., Lee, C. H., Pai, P. Y., Lin, P. Y., Shyu, K. G., Chang, W. T., Chiu, K. M., Huang, C. L., Lee, C. Y., Lin, Y. H., Wang, C. C., Yen, H. W., Yin, W. H., Yeh, H. I., Chiang, C. E., Lin, S. J., & Yeh, S. J. (2016). Management of Venous Thromboembolisms: Part I. The Consensus for Deep Vein Thrombosis. Acta Cardiologica Sinica, 32(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.6515/acs20151228a