Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is very common, with an average of about one thousand cases in our community each year. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, most commonly in one of your legs, although they can form in the pelvis or arm. Anyone can develop DVT, but certain factors can put you at a higher risk, including:
• Family history of DVT.
• Personal history of DVT.
• Prolonged immobilization or not moving for long periods of time. For example, extended bed rest or extended travel may keep you in the same position for a long period of time.
Symptoms of DVT will occur only in the affected area of the body, although not all individuals will experience them. The most common symptoms are:
If you experience these symptoms, but you didn’t experience an injury that could have caused them, and you are at a higher risk of DVT, talk to your physician.
The main treatment method for DVT is a prescription blood thinner. The goal of treatment is to prevent the clot from growing or breaking loose and causing a pulmonary embolism. Many patients with DVT recover completely, although some can experience chronic, long-term swelling and heaviness in the affected area. To help prevent blood clots from forming, try to avoid sitting still by standing and moving around every hour or so. Regular exercise and wearing compression socks can also help prevent DVT in people who sit throughout the day or travel frequently.
Cone Health has an exceptional network of vascular surgeons and related health care providers dedicated to treating DVT, improving patients’ quality of life and helping prevent pulmonary embolisms.
Brandon Cain, MD, is a vascular surgeon with Vascular & Vein Specialists of Greensboro and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Cain completed medical school at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and his fellowship in vascular surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School.