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Deep Vein Thrombosis



Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition characterized by the development of blood clots in veins, usually in the pelvis, thigh and calf. Less frequently, clots can form in the arms, abdomen, and chest. In certain patients DVT can result in a dangerous consequence known as pulmonary embolism (PE). PE occurs when a clot breaks free, travels through the bloodstream, and lodges in the lungs, thereby obstructing blood flow through the pulmonary artery and causing heart and lung collapse. Even with swift medical intervention, a large embolism can cause death within hours.

The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can be difficult to recognize. Patients often complain of pain, tenderness, and swelling which are common to many unrelated conditions. Sometimes, mild symptoms can even mask extensive clotting. For these reasons, a suspicion of deep vein thrombosis must be confirmed with some form of venous testing.

The most commonly used diagnostic test is venous ultrasound, a non-invasive, painless procedure that allows a physician to visualize clots and inflammation inside and near veins. Once diagnosed, the condition is highly treatable with drug therapy, mechanical devices, or both.