If you’ve been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), skipping treatment might not seem like a big deal, especially if you don’t have any really noticeable symptoms.
The problem is, DVT can have life-threatening complications, and unless you follow your treatment guidelines closely, you could be putting your life at risk.
Ashish Pal, MD, and the team at Vein & Cardiovascular Center offer state-of-the-art care for patients with DVT, tailoring every treatment for optimal benefits. If you’ve been diagnosed with DVT, here’s why sticking to your treatment plan is so important for your health.
A thrombosis is the medical term for a blood clot. As the name implies, deep vein thrombosis is a clot that forms in deep veins — typically the deep veins in your leg or pelvis, but it can occur in an arm, too.
DVT can happen at any age, but it’s more common after the age of 40. Other risk factors for DVT include:
- Spending a long time sitting
- Surgery or injury
- Medical problems, including clotting disorders and heart disease
- Being pregnant
- Being overweight or obese
- High cholesterol
- Hormone therapy, including birth control pills
Swelling is one of the most common symptoms of DVT, caused by an interruption in blood flow in the affected limb. Many people have pain or feelings or heaviness or fatigue in the limb. Sometimes, the skin over the area becomes red or warm to the touch.
The critical role of treatment
Clotting plays an important function in wound healing, preventing too much blood loss after a cut or other injury. Without these natural clotting responses, even a simple cut would become life-threatening. But when a clot forms deep inside your veins, it can cause major problems.
In the immediate area, the clot interferes with normal blood flow, which means the tissues in that area may not get the oxygen-rich blood they need to stay healthy.
Over time, DVT can cause changes in your skin, leading to deep sores or ulcers that can become infected. Eventually, deep infections can lead to amputations.
That’s not the only serious complication associated with DVT. If the clot breaks loose, it can travel through the bloodstream to another part of your body, causing life-threatening problems. A clot that travels to the lungs can quickly lead to death.
DVT treatment options
Fortunately, DVT treatment can be effective — as long as you follow doctor’s orders.
Treatment typically includes medical interventions as well as changes in lifestyle. For instance, quitting smoking and incorporating more physical activity are two lifestyle changes that can help prevent clot formation inside your veins.
In addition to these modifications, you probably need to take medicine to thin your blood or help prevent or dissolve clots. In some cases, Dr. Pal may recommend a minimally invasive procedure to remove a clot or insert a tiny filter to capture a clot if it dislodges and moves.
With locations in Orlando, Sebring, and Davenport, Florida, Vein & Cardiovascular Center helps women and men get the custom treatment they need to help prevent DVT complications and to enjoy better cardiovascular health overall.