Deep Vein Thrombosis

It is estimated that DVT affects approximately 900,000 people every year in the U.S. About 30% of people who have had DVT in the past will have it again.

We treat the following:

What causes DVT?


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) happens when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. This usually occurs in the leg, but can also happen in the pelvis or arm. DVT can partially or completely block blood flow, causing serious medical problems. In the most severe cases, part of the blood clot could break loose travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).

A blood clot in a deep vein can be caused by anything that stops your blood from flowing or clotting properly. DVT most often occurs when there is damage to a vein from surgery, trauma, or inflammation from injury or infection.

Many risk factors can increase your chances of developing a blood clot. These include:

  • Having varicose veins
  • Being over 60 years old
  • Sitting for long periods (such as during air travel or car trips)
  • Long term bed rest
  • Recent surgery
  • Vein injury
  • A family history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • Pregnancy, which puts more pressure on veins
  • Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Having other medical problems (Cancer and certain cancer treatments, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease all increase your risk of DVT)

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

Deep Vein Thrombosis usually happens in one leg, not both. Sometimes DVT can occur without symptoms. If you experience symptoms, tell your doctor right away. The most common signs of DVT include:

  • Sudden swelling in one leg
  • Pain and soreness in one leg, often in the calf
  • Redness or skin color changes in one leg
  • A feeling of warmth in the leg

A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency. Get emergency treatment immediately if you suspect PE. Signs of pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Stabbing chest pain that is worse when you cough or inhale deeply
  • Coughing up blood
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
  • Fast heart rate
  • Rapid breathing

Preventing DVT

If you are at risk for DVT, there are things you can do to prevent it:

  • If you have had surgery or been put on bed rest, get moving as soon as possible
  • Don’t cross your legs while sitting
  • If traveling by car, stop every hour or so and walk around. If traveling by plane or train, stand up and walk often or exercise your legs in your seat
  • Don’t smoke. If you do, make a plan to quit
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight

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