August 30, 2016
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Deep Vein Thrombosis (cont.)

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What are the causes of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Blood is meant to flow. If it becomes stagnant, there is a potential for it to clot. The blood in veins constantly forms microscopic clots that are routinely broken down by the body. If the balance of clot formation and resolution is altered, significant clotting can occur. A thrombus can form if one or a combination of the following situations is present.


  • Prolonged travel and sitting, such as long airplane flights ("economy class syndrome"), car, or train travel
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Trauma to the lower leg with or without surgery or casting
  • Pregnancy, including 6-8 weeks post-partum
  • Obesity

Hypercoagulability (coagulation of blood faster than usual)

  • Medications such as birth control pills, for example, Ortho-Novum, Yaz, Yasmin, Microgestin, Kelnor, and other estrogens
  • Smoking
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Polycythemia (increased number of red blood cells)
  • Cancer

Trauma to the vein

  • Fracture to the leg or arm
  • Bruised leg or arm
  • Complication of an invasive procedure of the vein
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/20/2016


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