Scare alert: You can have deep vein thrombosis (DVT) without knowing it. In fact, about half the people who develop DVT show no symptoms or are unaware of their symptoms. To stay in the know, here’s a closer look at DVT and ways to reduce your risk.
What exactly is deep vein thrombosis?
DVT is a blood clot that forms within a vein deep inside a muscle, usually your leg. DVT occurs most often in the lower legs or thighs but can also form in the arm, pelvis, or other large veins. DVT is a blood clot, but not the type of blood clot that causes heart attacks or strokes. DVT is still dangerous, however, because it can move through your blood and block a blood vessel in your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
DVT Signs to watch for:
•One or both legs is swollen
•A leg hurts or is tender
•One leg is larger than other
•Skin on one leg feels warm or looks red or discolored
What increases your DVT risk?
Sitting for more than 4 hours in a small place without moving, such as an airplane ride or cartrip. Obesity raises your odds for DVT, and so does smoking. Men over age 50 are most likely to develop DVT. Women have a higher risk when pregnant or on the pill. You are also at higher risk immediately following vein surgery. Specifically, your chances are highest about two days following surgery. To reduce this risk, vein surgeon Dr. Surya Challa makes every patient get up and move as soon as possible following surgery. He also sends vein patients home wearing compression stockings and prescribes medication, if necessary, to help encourage blood flow.
Maintaining a steady weight can help decrease your chances of DVT. At work or home, get up often from your chair or couch. Take short walks to work your leg muscles which help pump blood back toward your heart. On trips, drink lots of water, wear loose clothing, and take stretch breaks frequently. Board-certified vein expert Dr. Challa is here to help improve your vein health with state-of-the-art treatments and the highest level of personalized care. To learn more about vein treatments, please call 757.663.5461request your free consultation today.