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Deep thrombosis symptoms leg: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – Symptoms and causes

Deep vein thrombosis: Definition, symptoms, and treatment

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when blood clots form, typically in a deep vein in the leg or the pelvis. A pulmonary embolism (PE) can occur if part of a clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. DVT needs urgent medical attention as a PE can be life-threatening.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are two parts of the disease known as venous thromboembolism.

DVT is a medical urgency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that 10–30% of people who develop DVT in the leg experience fatal complications within a month of diagnosis.

In this article, we define DVT, explain how to recognize it, and ways to treat it.

DVT is blood clotting that develops with deep veins, often in the leg or pelvis.

If the thrombus, or clot, breaks off, doctors call this an embolus. Emboli can make their way to the lung, causing a PE.

Clots may also form in the veins of the arm, such as in people with Paget-Schoetter disease.

According to a 2017 review, DVT is the most common cause of maternal death in the developed world.

DVT is extremely rare in children. According to a 2016 article, the most recent figures suggest that 0.30 in every 100,000 children under 9 years of age, and 0.64 in every 100,000 children aged between 10 and 19 years develop DVT.

Some people may develop DVT without noticing symptoms. However, if symptoms develop, they may resemble the following:

  • pain in the affected limb that begins in the calf
  • swelling in the affected limb
  • a warm feeling in the swollen, painful region of the leg
  • red or discolored skin

In most people, DVT only develops in one leg. However, on rare occasions, both legs may have DVT.

If a clot dislodges and travels to the lung, the following symptoms may indicate PE:

  • slow breathing or sudden breathlessness
  • chest pain, usually more severe while breathing deeply
  • rapid breaths
  • a faster heart rate

There are two possible complications:

Pulmonary embolism

PE is the most common complication of DVT and can be life threatening. It happens when a piece of a blood clot becomes dislodged and makes its way through the bloodstream into the lungs.

The clot becomes stuck and disrupts the flow of blood in one of the blood vessels in the lung. In mild PE, an individual may not be aware.

A medium sized clot may cause breathing problems and chest pain. In more severe cases, the lung might collapse. PE can lead to heart failure and can be fatal.

Post-thrombotic syndrome

This is more common among people with recurrent DVT. According to a 2016 review, a person with post-thrombotic syndrome might experience the following symptoms, although they vary between individuals:

  • a persistent swelling in the calf
  • a feeling of heaviness in the leg
  • a pulling sensation in the leg
  • an excessively tired leg
  • fluid buildup in the affected leg
  • redness of the skin
  • new varicose veins
  • thickening skin around the area of the DVT
  • leg ulcers for people with severe post-thrombotic syndrome

Some doctors call this condition post-phlebitic syndrome.

An individual may develop DVT when there is no clear cause. However, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), most people with DVT develop the condition due to one or several risk factors and underlying conditions.


If the human body is inactive for long periods, blood can build up in the lower limbs and pelvic area.

This situation is not a problem for most people. As soon as physical activity levels return to normal, blood flow speeds up. The vein and arteries redistribute blood around the body.

However, prolong inactivity means that blood in the legs may slow a person’s blood flow, increasing the risk of clots forming.

A person might be inactive for long periods due to a range of causes, including:

  • an extended hospital stay
  • being immobile at home
  • remaining seated during a long journey, such as a flight
  • a disability that restricts movement

Injury or surgery

An injury or surgery that damages veins can slow the flow of blood. This increases the risk of blood clots. General anesthetics can also widen the veins, making it more likely that blood pools and clots may form.

While this risk may affect anyone having major surgery, the NHLBI suggest that people receiving knee and hip surgery, particularly, have a high risk of developing DVT.


A person may have an inherited disorder that makes blood clots more likely, such as Factor V Leiden thrombophilia.

However, even though having this condition increases the risk, only around 10% of people with it go on to develop unusual blood clots, according to Genetics Home Reference.


As a fetus develops inside the uterus, pressure against a woman’s veins in the legs and pelvis increases. A woman has an increased risk of DVT during pregnancy until six weeks after delivering their baby.

Females with some inherited blood disorders, such as hereditary antithrombin disorder, have a higher risk of DVT during pregnancy compared with other women.


Some cancers have links to a higher risk of DVT, including late stage colon, pancreatic, and breast cancers.

Cancer therapies and procedures can also increase a person’s risk of DVT, including chemotherapy, a central venous catheter, and certain cancer surgeries.

Read more about cancer and its treatments here.

Irritable bowel disease

People with irritable bowel disease (IBD) have a higher risk of DVT. A 2018 study found that the risk may be three to four times higher than that of a person without IBD.

Learn all about IBD here.

Heart problems

Any condition that affects how well the heart moves blood around the body can cause problems with clots and bleeds.

Conditions such as heart attacks or congestive heart failure may increase a person’s risk of developing a blood clot.

Find out more about heart disease here.

Hormone-based medications

Females who take hormone-based birth control or are on a course of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause have a higher risk of DVT than those who do not take these medications.

Discover everything you need to know about HRT here.


People with obesity experience more pressure on their blood vessels, especially those in the pelvis and legs.

For this reason, they may have an increased risk of DVT.


People who smoke tobacco regularly are more likely to develop DVT than people who have never smoked or have stopped.

People finding it difficult to quit smoking might find these tips helpful here.

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are enlarged and misshapen veins. While they often do not cause health problems, particularly overgrown varicose veins may lead to DVT unless a person receives treatment for them.

Learn more about varicose veins here.


Even though DVT may develop at any age, the risk increases as a person’s age advances.

According to the NHLBI, the risk of DVT doubles every 10 years after people reach 40 years of age.


A person’s sex can affect their DVT risk.

Females are more likely than males to experience DVT around childbearing age. However, females have a lower risk after menopause than men do at the same age.

If a person suspects that they may have DVT, they should seek immediate medical attention. The doctor will ask questions about symptoms and medical history before carrying out a physical examination.

A doctor will usually not be able to diagnose DVT through symptoms alone and may recommend tests, including:

  • D-dimer test: D-dimer is a protein fragment that is present in blood after a blood clot fibrinolysis degrades a blood clot. A test result revealing more than a certain amount of D-dimer indicates a possible blood clot. However, this test may not be reliable in individuals with certain inflammatory conditions and after surgery.
  • Ultrasound: This type of scan can detect clots in veins, alterations in blood flow, and whether the clot is acute or chronic.
  • Venogram: A doctor may request this scan if the ultrasound and D-dimer tests do not provide enough information. The doctor injects a dye into a vein in the foot, knee, or groin. X-ray images can track the dye as it moves to reveal the location of a blood clot.
  • Other imaging scans: MRI and CT scans may highlight the presence of a clot. These scans may identify blood clots while testing for other health conditions.

DVT treatment aims to:

  • stop the growth of a clot
  • prevent a clot from becoming an embolism and moving into the lung
  • reduce the risk that DVT might come back after treatment
  • minimize the risk of other complications

A doctor may recommend several methods to manage DVT, as follows:

Anticoagulant medications

These are drugs that prevent the clot from growing, as well as reducing the risk of embolism. Two types of anticoagulants support the treatment of DVT: Heparin and warfarin.

Heparin has an immediate effect. For this reason, doctors usually administer it first through a brief course of injections lasting less than a week.

With warfarin, the doctor is likely to recommend a 3–6-month course of oral tablets to prevent recurrence of DVT.

People with recurrent DVT may need to take anticoagulant medication for the rest of their lives.


People with more severe DVT or PE require immediate medical attention. The doctor or emergency team administers drugs called thrombolytics, or clot busters, that break down clots.

Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is an example of a thrombolytic drug.

Excessive bleeding is a side effect of these drugs. As a result, medical teams only administer TPA or similar interventions in emergency situations.

Healthcare professionals administer TPA through a small catheter, or tube, directly into the site of the clot. Patients undergoing catheter-directed thrombolysis will be in the hospital for several days and have intermittent “lysis checks” to make sure the clot is breaking down appropriately.

Inferior vena cava filter

A surgeon inserts a very small device, resembling an umbrella, into the vena cava, which is a large vein. The device catches blood clots and stops them moving into the lungs while allowing blood flow to continue.

Compression stocking

People wear these to help reduce pain, limit swelling, and prevent ulcers from developing. Stockings can also protect the individual from post-thrombotic syndrome.

Someone with DVT will have to wear stockings at all times for at least 24 months.

This is a relatively new technique that surgeons may use to treat a blood clot that occurs with DVT or PE.

The procedure involves using a catheter and a clot-removing device, which may be an aspiration catheter, a retrieval stent, or a pump.

Using imaging techniques for guidance, the surgeon:

  1. inserts the catheter toward the area where the clot is
  2. directs the clot-removing device through the catheter
  3. removes the clot, using aspiration or a stent, and reestablishes blood flow

The authors of a 2019 review conclude that mechanical thrombectomy is safe and effective at treating DVT and reducing the risk of recurrence.

There is no available method for screening people for DVT. However, doctors recommend three ways for people with one or several risk factors, such as recent surgery, to prevent the first occurrence of DVT.

These are:

  • Regular movement: A doctor might recommend staying highly mobile after surgery to stimulate blood flow and reduce the risk of a clot.
  • Maintaining pressure on the at-risk area: This can prevent blood pooling and clotting. Medical professionals may recommend wearing compression stockings or a boot that fills with air to increase pressure.
  • Anticoagulant medication: A doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medication to reduce the risk of clotting before or after surgery.

As smoking and obesity are also key risk factors, it may be advisable to quit smoking and engage in regular physical activity.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 150 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity exercise every week is the amount they recommend.

Leg Pain: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis | Blog

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition in which a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins inside the body, usually in the leg or legs. This can occur any time a medical condition or some other factor prevents the blood from circulating through the body properly, such as prolonged immobility or injury to a vein. A blood clot in the deep veins is a serious concern because it can cause life-threatening complications, one of the most notable being pulmonary embolism. Diagnosis and treatment of a DVT are meant to prevent a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.

Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Blood is meant to flow freely through the body, and if it moves too slowly through the veins or becomes stagnant, a clump of blood cells called a clot may form. There are several situations in which dangerous clotting can occur in a vein deep inside the body. For instance, limited movement due to surgery, obesity, prolonged travel, bed rest or hospitalization; a clotting condition; injury to a vein; pregnancy; and other serious health issues like cancer or heart disease can all increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis.  

If you are at high-risk for deep vein thrombosis, there are certain steps you can take to lower your odds of a DVT. You can get regular checkups, maintain a healthy weight, drink plenty of water, and exercise more. You can also avoid sitting for too long on flights or long car rides and, if you are having surgery, you can make a plan for your after-care to prevent DVT. 

DVT Diagnosis

Doctors diagnose deep vein thrombosis using special tests designed to detect blood clots or blockages in the veins. Duplex ultrasonography is one common example of an imaging test that can be used to diagnose DVT. This test uses sound waves to look at the flow of blood through the patient’s veins. Another tool doctors can use to diagnose deep vein thrombosis is a D-dimer test. Blood clots typically start to break down after they are formed, releasing a protein fragment into the blood called D-dimer. A D-dimer test is a special blood test that can be used to rule out a harmful blood clot.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms

In some cases, patients experiencing a deep vein thrombosis may not find out about the condition until they have undergone emergency treatment for a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a DVT clot breaks loose and moves from the leg into the lungs. A small pulmonary embolism may cause no symptoms, but a large embolism can be fatal. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any symptoms of a DVT. Some common deep vein thrombosis symptoms include the following:

  • Severe, unexplained pain in the foot and ankle
  • Swelling in the foot, ankle, or leg
  • Cramping pain in the leg, usually beginning in the calf
  • The skin over the affected area becoming pale or turning a reddish or bluish color

Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

The main goal of deep vein thrombosis treatment is to prevent a clot from becoming lodged in the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism. Patients with a DVT typically take blood thinner medications, or anticoagulants, to reduce the blood’s ability to clot. For some patients, anticoagulant therapy is not appropriate or successful, in which case treatment with an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter maybe considered. Other DVT patients benefit from using compression stockings, which are designed to squeeze blood up the legs to prevent swelling and blood clots.

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious condition. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of vascular care to the residents of the Southern San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas. If you have concerns about developing this condition, call (559) 625-4118 or visit South Valley Vascular online to schedule an appointment today.

Symptoms and treatment of deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities in Moscow

Venous thrombosis is a disease associated with the formation of blood clots in the veins, partially or completely blocking the blood vessels. The most common is deep vein thrombosis. The disease is characterized by the fact that blood stagnation occurs in the blocked vein , followed by the manifestation of symptoms such as blue skin and swelling at the site of thrombosis.

Venous thrombosis of the lower extremities is dangerous for the patient’s life. Against the background of this disease, pulmonary embolism may develop. In fact, this is the most dangerous complication of venous thrombosis, which is as follows: a part of the thrombus breaks off and is sent through the right heart into the pulmonary artery with blood flow, resulting in its blockage.

Pulmonary embolism is manifested by the following symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, sudden drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, which is very often fatal. Sometimes, on the basis of thrombosis, gangrene of the extremities can develop. If a blood clot enters the vessels of the brain, against this background, a stroke develops, which leads to death or severe disability.

There are several main reasons why thrombosis can develop : if you do not move your legs for more than three days, if you drink little water in hot weather, which causes dehydration of the body, and this entails an increase in blood viscosity. Violation of blood flow through the vessels can be congenital or acquired. Also, the formation of blood clots can be affected by various injuries on the injured area of ​​​​the skin.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • swelling of the lower leg or the whole leg with pain in the groin;
  • increasing pain in the calf of the leg when bending the ankle joint;
  • special sensitivity of the skin of the legs;
  • increased skin temperature in the area of ​​the thrombus;
  • the appearance of shortness of breath and dizziness, as well as loss of consciousness.

In all these cases, you should immediately seek medical help.

Treatment of thrombosis

For treatment of venous thrombosis the reason for its development is initially established. Also, the treatment of thrombosis depends on the age of the patient and many other factors. The state of the thrombus, namely how firmly it is attached to the walls of the vessel, is determined using ultrasound. After passing all the examinations, the patient is prescribed treatment. In the event that there is a high risk of separation of a blood clot, the patient is prescribed treatment followed by surgical intervention, that is, the removal of a blood clot. All patients, without exception, are prescribed bed rest.

In the treatment of thrombosis, should be prescribed medication that reduces a number of complications and prevents the formation of blood clots. Intravascular operations are also used, which are the removal or dissolution of a blood clot from the lumen of a venous vessel using a catheter through a small incision in the skin. Surgery is often used to avoid the development of gangrene of the legs . The operation is performed under general anesthesia. In order to reduce the likelihood of re-thrombosis after surgery, the patient is prescribed a special course of heparin treatment before surgery, which can continue for some time after the removal of the thrombus.

An individual cost of treatment will be set for each patient, depending on the severity of the disease, as well as on the form of treatment you choose, namely inpatient or outpatient. Our medical center DOBROMED offers its clients high-quality treatment from the best doctors, using the latest equipment. Don’t delay! The sooner you turn to us for help, the easier and faster we will return you to a full life!

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symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment| JSC “Medicina” (clinic of Academician Roitberg)

Article content

  1. General information
  2. Causes of deep vein thrombosis
  3. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis
  4. Thrombophlebitis diagnostics
  5. Treatment
  6. Prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis
  7. Questions and Answers
  8. Sources

General information

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a pathological condition associated with impaired blood flow in the veins due to the formation of blood clots and blockage of the lumen of blood vessels. This pathology is classified as an emergency requiring immediate medical attention. Its absence or refusal by the patient can cause pulmonary embolism, which threatens the life of the patient.

Causes of deep vein thrombosis

Among the most common causes of thrombosis:

  • Inflammatory process in the tissues of a general or local nature.
  • Deceleration of blood flow, which leads to stagnation of blood in the limbs.
  • Hereditary or acquired factor of increased thrombus formation.
  • Damage to the wall of the vessel, which causes its blockage with subsequent stagnation of blood.

Thorough diagnostics and study of the patient’s history can clarify the specific cause of the disease. Among the risk factors are invariably distinguished:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Prolonged bed rest during complex illness.
  • Varicose disease.
  • Prolonged immobility of the body.
  • Consequences of infectious diseases.
  • Stroke, which is accompanied by paralysis of the limbs.
  • Obesity.
  • Oncological diseases.
  • Uncontrolled use of hormonal contraceptives.
  • Increased blood clotting.
  • Consequences of vein puncture.

The action of one of the listed factors is sufficient for the development of thrombosis. Therefore, with an increased risk of the disease, regular preventive medical examinations should be carried out.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis

Invariable signs of the disease are:

  • Pain in the area of ​​vein blockage.
  • Local swelling of the limb.
  • Increased body temperature.
  • Seals in the direction of blood flow in the vessel.

Patients report an increase in the listed symptoms over several days, which leads them to seek medical help. In some cases, the development of the disease is asymptomatic, and only edematous phenomena indicate it.

If the increase in swelling and a sharp increase in pain is accompanied by chest pain, fever or coughing, it is recommended to immediately contact the nearest medical facility or call an ambulance. Otherwise, there is a risk of separation of the thrombus and blockage of the vessels of the lungs.

Diagnosis of thrombophlebitis

The initial diagnosis can be made already at the initial examination of the affected areas with noticeable swelling and blood stasis. The following types of studies can confirm assumptions regarding DVT:

  • Clinical blood test, coagulogram.
  • X-ray study with contrast, which allows you to see the lumen of the vessels and the formed blood clots, which caused a violation of blood flow.
  • CT and MRI in vascular mode.
  • Ultrasound diagnostics and its varieties – dopplerometry or angioscanning.

It is possible to conduct additional studies to clarify the cause and dynamics of the pathological process, especially if the symptoms increase rapidly and cause significant inconvenience to the patient.


If the patient does not have a rapid increase in symptoms, he is prescribed a conservative course of treatment. In the list of recommended drugs:

  • Anticoagulants that reduce the chance of blood clots.
  • Blood thinners. Their reception is possible only on the recommendation and under the supervision of a specialist.

Also among the methods of treatment of the disease:

  • Wearing compression bandages and underwear, ordered individually. They have preventive and therapeutic value, especially if the selection is carried out taking into account the recommendations of the doctor.
  • Implantation of a cava filter into the cavity of the main vein, which prevents the migration of blood clots and reduces the risk of blockage of pulmonary vessels. The installation of the filter can be temporary or permanent, carried out under local anesthesia and does not involve prolonged hospitalization of the patient.
  • Thrombolysis procedure. It involves the introduction into the blood of thrombolytic drugs that contribute to the dissolution of blood clots. It is used in the initial stages of the disease, has a number of contraindications.

In case of extensive damage, the patient is indicated for surgical treatment – thrombectomy to remove the blocked part of the vessel, venous angioplasty to restore the walls of the veins, and venous bypass to ensure stable blood flow. The volume and nature of the intervention are determined on an individual basis.

Prevention of deep vein thrombosis

Reduce the risk of developing pathology can:

  • Sleep and rest with elevated limbs.
  • Refusal of long static loads, reduction of daily physical activity.
  • Avoid situations that increase the risk of overheating or dehydration.
  • Wearing compression stockings, comfortable shoes with orthopedic inserts.
  • Regular moderate physical activity – running, cycling, long walks.

For further advice on the treatment of deep vein thrombosis, contact your phlebologist.

Questions and answers

  • Which doctor treats deep vein thrombosis?
  • For examination, consultation and diagnosis of pathology, you should contact a phlebologist or phlebologist surgeon.
  • Is there a risk of recurrence of deep vein thrombosis?
  • The reappearance of symptoms of the disease indicates insufficient intensity and effectiveness of the treatment course. Perhaps, in order to consolidate the initial success, it is necessary to change the tactics of treatment and focus on preventive measures. Details can be obtained from your physician.
  • Is a diet indicated for thrombophlebitis?
  • Eating ginger, garlic, hawthorn berries, whole grain breads, seasonal vegetables and fruits, cereals, and nuts can reduce symptoms and reduce the risk of blood clots.