Deep Vein Thrombosis (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Introduction to deep vein thrombosis
- What are the causes of deep vein thrombosis?
- What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?
- When should I seek medical care for deep vein thrombosis?
- How is deep vein thrombosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for deep vein thrombosis?
- What are the complications of deep vein thrombosis?
- Can deep vein thrombosis be prevented?
- Deep Vein Thrombosis - Slideshow
- Take the Blood Disorders Quiz!
- Spider & Varicose Veins - Slideshow
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
What are the complications of deep vein thrombosis?
Pulmonary embolism is the major complication of deep vein thrombosis. It can present with chest pain and shortness of breath and is a life-threatening condition. More than 90% of pulmonary emboli arise from the legs.
Post-phlebitic syndrome can occur after a deep vein thrombosis. The affected leg can become chronically swollen and painful with skin color changes and ulcer formation around the foot and ankle.
Can deep vein thrombosis be prevented?
As is the case with most medical illnesses, prevention is of prime importance. Minimizing risk factors is key to deep vein thrombosis prevention.
In the hospital setting, the staff works hard to minimize the potential for clot formation in immobilized patients. Compression stockings are routinely used. Surgery patients are out of bed walking (ambulatory) earlier and low dose heparin or enoxaparin is being used for deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis (measures taken to prevent DVT).
For those who travel, it is recommended that they get up and walk every couple of hours during a long trip.
Compression stockings may be helpful in preventing future deep vein thrombosis formation in patients with a previous history of a clot.
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Last Editorial Review: 3/10/2010
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.