We go on and on about how varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic problem and how their symptoms can actually be serious and lead to worse problems. One of those worse problems is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein – deep within the muscles of the leg.
A blood clot, or thrombus, in the deep venous system of the leg can become dangerous if part of the blood clot breaks off and travels through the venous system and into the pulmonary circulation system, and becomes lodged in a lung.
Similar to the causes of varicose veins, blood clots can develop in people who are immobile (due to injuries, pregnancy or hospitalization), overweight, or who already have a medical history of clotting issues (often caused by hormones, smoking, cancer, or a genetic predisposition) or damaged veins.
The diagnosis of DVT is also similar to varicose veins in that an ultrasound test is the standard method used to determine the existence of the condition. An experienced vein specialist, like Dr. Jeffrey Gosin at Shore Vascular & Vein Center in Somers Point, New Jersey, can use the ultrasound technology to detect a blood clot’s presence, as well as its location and size.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness and redness. If left untreated, DVT can lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism (PE). This occurs when a portion of the blood clot breaks off from the legs and becomes lodged in the arteries to the lungs. This can be a potentially life threatening problem. Another potential complication of DVT is post-phlebitic syndrome. It can result in chronic swelling, pain, ulcers and skin discoloration in the affected leg. It is a condition that may not develop for years after the acute event and aggressive early treatment of the DVT is the best way to prevent it.
There are various potential treatment for DVT, depending upon an individual’s particular situation. Some of these treatments include the use of blood thinning medications, clot dissolving treatments, compression stockings, and occasionally even intervention procedures to implant devices to prevent clots from traveling to the lungs, when that is necessary. It is important that individuals with DVT are evaluated and treated by a specialist in vein care to prevent the complications that may develop from the DVT.
If you have any questions regarding deep vein thrombosis or would like to make an appointment for diagnosis, contact Shore Vascular & Vein Center. Dr. Gosin and his staff are Atlantic County, Cape May County and Ocean County, NJ’s premiere vascular and vein care center team. If you are experiencing the appearance or discomfort of varicose veins or are concerned about DVT and would like more information, our Board Certified Vascular surgeon can help. To get in touch with Shore Vascular & Vein Center call (609) 927-VEIN (8346) or visit our office for more information.