What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot deep in the vein. This usually occurs in the lower leg or thigh.
DVT can develop with certain medical conditions that affect blood clotting. They can also form if you aren’t moving for a long time, such as after surgery or if you are confined to bed.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms can include:
- Pain in your leg. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or soreness.
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
- A feeling of warmth in the affected leg
If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your doctor.
A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and move to the lung, and cause a serious issue called pulmonary embolism. This is a life-threatening condition. If you are experiencing symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath or when you cough
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting
- Rapid pulse
- Coughing up blood
Diagnosing Deep Vein Thrombosis
Duplex ultrasonography is an imaging test that uses sound waves to look at blood flow. It can look for blockages or clots in the deep veins. The test is noninvasive, with no discomfort. Guthrie offers seven vascular study locations including Big Flats, Corning, Ithaca and Owego, N.Y. and Sayre, Towanda and Wellsboro, Pa.
How is Deep Vein Thrombosis treated?
Treatment for DVT is aimed at reducing the risk of clots forming and can include medication, surgery or equipment.
- Blood thinners – medication to reduce the bloods ability to clot.
- Clot busters – in severe cases thrombolytics (clot-dissolving medication) can be used.
- Filters – for times when blood thinners are not appropriate, a filter can be installed on the large vein that brings blood back to the heart.
- Compression stockings – gentle compression on the calf helps blood flow improve.
Vascular Care at Guthrie
- Our vascular surgery physicians are specially trained in vascular surgery and are board-certified.
- Vascular studies - Using Duplex Scanning, Guthrie vascular technologists can view the arteries in the extremities and study the pulse waveform recordings with Doppler pressure.
- Guthrie Heart and Vascular Care Center, located in Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, is a state-of-the-art space for heart and vascular surgeries and procedures. Located near the emergency department and ICU, there are private patient rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, and a hybrid operating room. The unit is centered around quick efficient care of our patients.
- Hybrid operating room – a state-of-the-art operating room with real-time, high-resolution digital imaging capabilities allowing for complex surgeries and studies to take place simultaneously with an integrated team of heart and valve specialists.