Deep vein thrombosis is characterized by a blood clot in a deep vein, although the disease is often hard to diagnose as it has many similarities to other health issues. If you have a sedentary job or are overweight, over 60, or smoke then you are at a greater risk of developing DVT.
DVT usually occurs in the thigh or calf and pain and swelling will be a direct result of the restricted blood flow. Clots can also break free or damage vessels, giving you restricted mobility. When a clot travels to the heart or lungs it can cause untimely death.
Symptoms of DVT are typically pain and or swelling in the leg, which may only occur when you stand up. The skin may become discolored or warm, and surface veins may appear. Half of the cases of DVT however show no symptoms at all
When a blood clot breaks free and causes possible fatality it is known as a pulmonary embolism, symptoms including coughing of blood, dizziness and shortness of breath, the symptoms being accompanied with various levels of pain.
Diagnosing DVT at Arizona Vein & Vascular Center
In order to diagnose DVT, the Board Certified Vascular Surgeons at Arizona vein and Vascular Center will perform a physical examination as well as asking you questions about your medical history. As DVT shares many of its symptoms with other diseases, our trusted Vein Doctors and staff will have to rule out other conditions
An ultrasound with x-ray imaging can detect blood clots, the test being pain-free. Our Vascular Surgeons may also like to perform a venography where a radioactive dye is injected into the veins to look for clots. An MRI scan may also be carried out which will allow for a detailed image of your body to be produced. This test can detect deep clots in the pelvis and thighs that may lie undetected by a normal ultrasound.
Blood clots caused by DVT will dissolve themselves, although blood thinning medication and regular monitoring will often be required. Blood clots caused by DVT can also be removed at our vein clinic by a surgical process known as thrombolysis. Our Vascular Physicians will discuss all the options open to you.