Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower limbs, leading to either partially or completely blocked circulation. DVT is a common but serious condition, which occurs in around two million Americans each year.
DVT is a sneaky condition as only about half of the people with DVT experience symptoms. Symptoms may be subtle and difficult to detect, but if ignored can result in health complications such as pulmonary embolism, the obstruction of the pulmonary artery leading to the lungs, and even death if not diagnosed and treated effectively.
Although symptoms are limited, they may include pain, tenderness, swelling discoloration of the effected area or skin that is warm to the touch. The leading causes of DVT are injury, immobility, surgery or illness, including vein disease and clotting disorders. Most victims of DVT are 60-years-old or older; however, it can strike anyone.
To minimize pain and discomfort from DVT you can elevate your legs, wear compression stockings, avoid long periods of immobility and apply heat to reduce swelling. Treatment for DVT includes medications prescribed by your doctor and in more severe cases, surgery to remove blood clots.
If you show signs or symptoms of DVT talk to one of the doctors at Reno Vein Clinic.
The medical term for a blood clot is thrombus. Blood clotting is a normal process that the body uses to repair injured blood vessels. The damage may be obvious like a cut, or it can be microscopic and completely unnoticeable. However, there are times when a blood clot will form when it is not needed and this can have potentially significant consequences.
Venous thrombosis is when a blood clot occurs in a vein when a person is immobilized and muscles are not contracting to push blood back to the heart. Think of a slow moving river where over time plants and algae begin to grow on the banks. Gradually the small blood clots begin to form along the walls of the vein and eventually they can completely or partially block the vein. Blood clots can also form in an artery (called arterial thrombi) or in the heart.
Venous clots occur most commonly when the body stops moving because of hospitalization or sitting for a long period of time. In these instances the blood can become stagnant in veins and start to clot. Clotting may also occur because of genetics, making a person hypercoagulable and at greater risk for forming clots. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking are all risk factors for arterial clots.
Blood clots may cause life-threatening medical conditions including deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, arterial thrombus and atrial fibrillation. With a full patient history and examination, a doctor will be able to explore risk factors and diagnose blood clots. Treatment may require surgery and anti-coagulation medications. Prevention of blood clots involves attention to the risk factors for vascular disease.
If you think you may be at risk for blood clots, talk to your doctor and discuss symptoms and and prevention methods.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a common condition affecting 2-5% of Americans. CVI is a condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart. Venous insufficiency is caused by problems in one or more deeper leg veins. Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing so it does not collect in one place, but when the valves in varicose veins are damaged or missing, this causes the veins to remain filled with blood, especially when you are standing. This condition can also be caused by a blockage in a vein from a clot.
There are many factors that affect the risk of developing CVI. People who have a history of deep vein thrombosis in the legs or those who are considered obese have a greater chance of developing venous insufficiency. Women, specifically pregnant women are also more at risk. Additionally, being tall, increased age and existing genetic factors also come into play. Lastly, prolonged sitting or standing can cause CVI.
The symptoms are similar to varicose vein symptoms. Patients can experience dull aching, heaviness or cramping in their legs. Other symptoms include itching and tingling, pain when standing and swelling of the legs. People with chronic venous insufficiency may also have redness on their legs and ankles, superficial varicose veins, and ulcers near the legs and ankles.
If you think you may be suffering from Chronic Venous Insufficiency or have questions contact Reno Vein Clinic at (775) 329-3100 to schedule your free consultation.