Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Symptoms and Diagnosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is an ailment in which a blood clot develops in a vein deep in one or both legs, the most common area being in the calf or thigh. Because DVT can partially or completely block blood flow, it can be very serious. If a DVT formed blood clot breaks loose and travels to the heart or lungs (pulmonary embolism), it can be fatal.

If you develop any of the below symptoms of deep vein thrombosis seek immediate medical care in a Woodstock hospital. You should keep your veins healthy and follow the varicose treatment recommended by your physician or vascular surgeon.

Symptoms of DVT

In about half the cases of DVT, there are no tell-tale symptoms. However, when symptoms occur, they can include swelling in one or both legs, leg tenderness or pain, skin that feels warm in the affected leg, discolored or red skin, surface veins, or legs that feel fatigued. When a blood clot breaks free from the deep vein in the leg and travels to the lungs, it can be life-threatening. While a pulmonary embolism may not cause any symptoms, signs of a blood clot in the lungs include:

  • Sudden coughing
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • A shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Severe lightheadedness.

If you are having these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

DVT Diagnosis

Tests to confirm a DVT diagnosis or rule out other conditions include a duplex ultrasound, venography, and MRI. In a duplex ultrasound, a radiologist uses a wand, which uses sound waves to create images of your blood vessels, over the affected areas. A duplex ultrasound is noninvasive and painless. A special X-ray test that enables your doctor to see the anatomy of your veins is a venography. In a venography, your physician injects a dye (radioactive) into a vein in your foot. An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, consists of a magnetic field and radio frequency sound waves to produce images of the examined areas.


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