Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops in a major vein, mostly in the lower leg and thigh. While there is a wide range of symptoms that patients may have (see sidebar), DVT can also move from the legs and block the pulmonary artery in the chest where it presents life-threatening symptoms including shortness of breath and rapid heart rate.
“While many patients with DVT do not present withany symptoms, understanding the risk factors as well as symptoms can allow patients to be evaluated and treated more rapidly,” said Dr. Joshua Eisenberg, vascular surgeon and director of the Capital Health Heart & Vascular Institute.
“In the past, treatment options were limited. Today, we have a variety of advanced techniques that provide improved long term outcomes for patients with DVT.” A team of physicians at the Capital Health Heart & Vascular Institute work together to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with DVT.
March is National DVT Awareness Month and the Capital Health Vein Center, part of the Heart & Vascular Institute, joins organizations across the country in increasing awareness and education about the condition.
Symptoms of DVT include:
- Swelling in the leg
- Red, discolored, or white skin
- Rapid heart beat
- Slight fever
- More visible surface veins
- Dull ache or tightness in the leg
Risk factors for DVT include:
- Age (older than 60)
- Major surgery
- Long periods of bed rest or sitting
- Previous blood clot
- Inherited tendency for clots
- Certain diseases or conditions:Varicose veins, Cancer, Heart failure, Heart Attack, Spinal cord injury