Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, usually in the lower legs.
While the clotting can be uncomfortable, due to swelling and other symptoms, this condition only becomes dangerous if that blood clot breaks free, travels through the circulatory system and lodges in the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, which can kill.
In about half the cases of DVT, no symptoms are noted by the patient. However, some people do note swelling in the lower leg, ankle, and foot, pain in the calf, a warm sensation in the lower leg, and/or discoloration of the skin in the affected area.
People with any of several medical conditions can be prone to DVT, especially those suffering with venous insufficiency, cancer, heart disease, or bowel disease. Also, those who are overweight, over the age of 60, smokers, and any taking prescriptions that affect blood clotting are at risk.
Usually, DVT occurs when one is sitting for a long period of time, therefore disrupting the normal circulation in the legs. For instance, during a long car or plane ride.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment
Doctors may try a variety of treatments for deep vein thrombosis, including medicines that thin the blood or attack the clot. They can also surgically insert a filter in the vena cava (a large vein in the abdominal region) that will catch the clot before it reaches the lung, eliminating the risk of an embolism.
In addition, doctors will usually prescribe some form of compression sock or stocking be worn for at least a year after a bout of DVT as a means of preventing recurrence. These garments help improve circulation in the lower legs, and are often worn by individuals who have never had DVT during travel just as a preventative.
One example of a comfortable and effective compression stocking alternative that many people have found beneficial is the Orthosleeve CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve. This product offers six zones of graduated compression in an easy-on design that provides all the medical benefits of compression stockings without the difficulty and discomfort that keeps many people from wearing their stockings as often as they should.
If you notice any signs at all of deep vein thrombosis, see a doctor immediately to ensure the condition does not worsen. Follow their directions for treatment and prevention to maintain better venous health going forward.