What is Deep Vein Thrombosis and What are the Symptoms?

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis and What are the Symptoms?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein, typically in the leg. These clots can obstruct blood flow and pose a risk if they dislodge and travel to the lungs, causing a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism (PE). Symptoms of DVT may include:

  • Leg Pain and Tenderness: Often starting in the calf and may feel like a cramp or soreness.
  • Swelling: Usually in one leg, sometimes accompanied by warmth and redness over the affected area.
  • Skin Discoloration: The affected leg may appear reddish or bluish in color.
  • Increased Skin Temperature: The skin over the clot might feel warmer to the touch compared to the surrounding areas.
  • Vein Firmness or Cord-like Texture: The affected vein may feel hard or like a cord under the skin.
  • Pain Upon Flexing the Foot: Pain when flexing the foot upward (Dorsiflexion) in a specific manner (Homan’s sign) may indicate DVT, although this is not a definitive diagnostic test.

It’s important to note that not everyone with DVT experiences noticeable symptoms. In some cases, DVT can be “silent” and go undetected until it causes complications. If you suspect DVT or experience any symptoms, especially if you have risk factors like recent surgery, prolonged immobility, or a history of blood clots, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. DVT can be diagnosed through ultrasound imaging and, if confirmed, appropriate treatment should be initiated to prevent complications.

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