Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that most frequently occurs in deep veins of the leg. The deep veins of the leg are found within the muscle of the calf and thigh. Deep vein Thrombosis (DVT) can also occur in other deep veins of the body such as in the arm. There are many causes of a DVT such as long haul airline flight travel ( travellers thrombosis), varicose veins, a narrowing of a leg vein (May–Thurners syndrome), pregnancy, obesity and being overweight. Some individuals also have a family history of DVT.
It is our mission at the British Varicose Vein Centre to avoid long term damage to the leg caused by DVT’s and avoid swelling and leg ulcers.
At the British Varicose Vein Centre we specialize and provide expert care in the most up to date advice , treatment and diagnosis of Deep Vein Thrombosis with an aim to try and restore the leg to normality
A blood clot and a thrombosis are the same thing. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can lead to sudden onset of pain and frequently swelling of the leg. Left untreated the blood clot may stay the same size but can develop and become larger. Potentially the blood clot can move to the lung and block the blood vessels leading from the heart. This serious complication is known as a Pulmonary Embolism. The highest risk of a pulmonary embolism is within 6 weeks of the DVT occurring. Urgent treatment of Deep vein thrombosis (DVT ) reduces this risk.
Symptoms of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) are:
sudden onset of pain in the leg , usually the calf – this can be localised to a single spot or generalized.
the leg may become swollen and warm. Note it is NOT essential for the calf to become swollen or warm to diagnose a DVT, as pain maybe the only feature.
The skin of the leg may become warm and red as well as swelling and pain
In the long term if the DVT was large and untreated, the leg may remain large, swollen and the skin may become a brown colour for ever. This permanent feature of a DVT is known as the Post Thrombotic Leg syndrome. The leg may feel very heavy and tired and sometimes may feel painful on walking. In the late stages leg ulcers can also occur.
If you suspect a Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) then urgent medical attention should be sought where an Ultrasound and blood tests (D-Dimer) should be performed
Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis
At the British Varicose Vein Centre we specialize in the newest and most up-to-date equipment for the treatments of the acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The treatments involve vein stockings, anticoagulation to avoid the clot getting bigger as well as giving drugs to dissolve the clot ( thrombolysis) and mechanical devices that help breakdown the clot. In situations where there is a narrowing of the vein we use special vein stents to widen the blocked vein.
At The British Varicose Vein Centre we use a special Intra Vascular Ultrasound (IVUS). The use of IVUS is essential in the modern treatment of DVT. Old and new DVT’s are frequently treated with Vein stents. If the DVT is not treated then permanent swelling of the leg can result which very often causes leg ulcers,. The use of the vein stents in unblocking veins can be successful even if the vein has been blocked for many years . It is not always possible to stent a vein. However, if there is an untreated narrowing of a leg vein ,which was related to the DVT, and which is not stented then there is a risk the leg could be swollen for ever. It Is therefore very important to identify if the vein is narrowed or scarred.
Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Intra Vascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
Gives a clearer picture of some conditions
Can be used to diagnose issues or for treatment
Provides answers for the possible causes of conditions that are otherwise unexplained