Deep Vein Thrombosis
What is deep vein thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of a clot in the deep vein. These clots usually occur in the leg. If you have symptoms of the disease, get treatment immediately to prevent serious complications.
What are the effects of DVT?
Although DVT itself is not life-threatening, blood clots have the potential to break free and circulate through the bloodstream. A pulmonary embolism occurs when traveling blood clots settle in the blood vessels of your lungs. Since this can be a life-threatening condition, urgent diagnosis and treatment are required.
What Are The Symptoms?
Half of those with DVT in their legs develop intermittent leg pain and swelling symptoms that can last for months to years. This syndrome can cause the blood to “accumulate” more than it should because of damage to the valves and the inner lining of your veins. This increases the pressure in your veins and causes pain and swelling.
This can be manifested by the following symptoms:
Blood accumulation, chronic leg swelling, increased pressure in your veins, increased pigmentation or discoloration of your skin, leg ulcers known as venous stasis ulcers.
The general symptoms of DVT can be listed as follows:
Abdominal pain or side pain (if blood clots affect the veins deep inside your abdomen).
Swelling of your leg or arm (may be sudden).
Red or discoloured skin.
The veins near the surface of your skin are larger than normal.
Pain or tenderness in your leg or arm (only while standing or walking).
The swollen or aching area of your leg or arm is warmer than normal.
What are the risk factors for DVT?
Being over 40 years old.
Having a genetic disease.
Having an autoimmune disease such as lupus, vasculitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.
Having cancer and some cancer treatments (chemotherapy).
Having a family history of DVT.
Having limited blood flow in a deep vein due to an injury, surgery, or inactivity.
Sitting for a long time, staying still after surgery or a serious injury, and not moving for a long time.
Being pregnant or having recently given birth to a baby.
Using tobacco products.
Having varicose veins.
Taking birth control pills or hormone therapy.
Having a central venous catheter or pacemaker.
What Are The Treatment Methods?
In the first stage, medical treatment is applied and interventional intervention may be recommended according to the localization of the clot.
The goals of the treatment can be listed as follows.
Preventing the growth of blood clots
Preventing the transport of clots to the lungs
Preventing recurrence of the clot
Use of blood thinners (anticoagulants): Low molecular weight heparin and warfarin applied under the skin are the most commonly used blood thinners.
If large clots cause tissue damage, they may need to be removed surgically. Surgical approach is recommended only in the most severe cases, as it involves risks such as infection, vascular damage, bleeding.
Varicose Socks: Apart from medication, the most important step of DVT treatment is to wear varicose socks.
The sock should be at a pressure of 30-40 mmHg and should be long enough to reach the level below the knee. Varicose veins should be worn continuously for the first few days, then only during the day. The socks are placed on the feet before getting out of bed and removed in the evening when lying down. Socks should be worn for at least 2 years.
In the first days, resting by raising the legs above the heart level reduces the complaint in the leg. Melting the clot: The classical treatment of DVT is as described above. This treatment protects the patient from pulmonary embolism and significantly reduces complaints about the leg. However, the clot in the leg may not fully resolve and the leg may not return to normal due to the blockage not opening.
Unblocking is only possible with some special methods. These methods are to dissolve the clot by injecting the drugs that dissolve the clot with catheters into the clogged vein, and to remove the clot with catheters or surgical methods. When the clot is dissolved, angioplasty and stenting may sometimes be required to prevent the opening vein from clogging again. These methods really help the patient's complaints to pass significantly or completely.