DEEP VEIN THROMBOSISDeep vein thrombosis (DVT), is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, most commonly the legs. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, redness, or warmth of the affected area. About half of cases have no symptoms. Complications may include pulmonary embolism, which is a detachment of a clot which travels to the lungs, and post-thrombotic syndrome.

Risk factors include recent surgery, cancer, trauma, lack of movement, obesity, smoking, hormonal birth control, pregnancy and the period following birth and certain genetic conditions. The underlying mechanism typically involves some combination of decreased blood flow rate, increased tendency to clot, and injury to the blood vessel wall.

If your provider suspects DVT, blood testing and an ultrasound may be needed. To treat DVT, your provider will prescribe blood thinning medications. Wearing graduated compression stockings may reduce the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome. Prevention may include early and frequent walking, calf exercises, aspirin, anticoagulants or graduated compression stockings.