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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Treatment

 

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition whereby a blood clot or ‘thrombus’ forms in the veins of the leg.      

 

Cause  

DVT is caused by your blood not clotting or circulating properly.  This can be a result of certain medical conditions, or a lack of physical movement as a result of illness, surgery or being bed-bound.      

 

Symptoms  

Symptoms of DVT usually include swelling of the leg and pain in the calf.  Some people don’t experience any symptoms.      

 

Treatment  

Once DVT has been diagnosed, treatment should start as soon as possible in order to prevent any further damage to the vein. If left untreated, DVT can cause a pulmonary embolism which occurs when the clot blocks off blood flow of the main artery to the lungs. Other complications include leg ulcers, inflammation and post-thrombotic syndrome.  

 

The main aims of treatment are to:  

  • stop the clot from getting any worse,  
  • prevent the clot from breaking off and blocking an artery to the lungs, and  
  • reduce the risk of another clot forming.      

 

Treatment type depends upon the severity and location of the clot. Medications may be administered for treatment at home, or hospitalisation may be required. Anticoagulant medications, also known as blood thinners, are most commonly prescribed. These medications can cause excessive bleeding, possibly internally. As a result, regular blood tests are required in order to measure your body’s ability to clot.  

 

If medications are not improving the condition, a filter can be inserted into the vein in order to stop the clot from breaking away and blocking off a main artery to the lungs. However, the filter does not do anything to reduce the risk of other clots forming.  

 

Compression stockings can be worn to create pressure on the leg which encourages the flow of blood. There are a variety of types available depending on the amount of pressure required.      

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.   Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.      

 

Sources  

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Deep_vein_thrombosis  

http://www.phlebology.com.au/deep-vein-thrombosis  

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dvt/treatment.html