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Recognizing the Early Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a life-threatening condition in which a blood clot forms in the veins inside your muscles. These blood clots typically form in the legs, but they can also develop in the arms, hips, pelvis, and chest. 

When left untreated, blood clots can travel to the lungs, causing blockages in the artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the lungs. Once blood flow is obstructed, a lack of oxygen can cause cell death and organ damage.

To help you get a better understanding of deep vein thrombosis, we asked our specialist at i-Vascular Center, Dr. Anwar S. Gerges, about the early signs of DVT. Read on to find out when you should contact a specialist.

Early signs of deep vein thrombosis 

Early symptoms of DVT in the leg include swelling, changes in skin color, warmness, and pain.

If the blood clot is present in the upper extremities, you may experience skin changes, neck pain, shoulder pain, numbness and weakness in the hand, and swelling. 

When a blood clot is suspected, Dr. Gerges orders blood tests that look for a substance that’s released in the veins in the presence of blood clots. He also orders imaging to see the position and the location of the clot.

Signs that the clot has already traveled to your lungs 

If the blood clot has already traveled to your lungs, you may also experience chest pain, dizziness, coughing, sweating, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, a pulmonary embolism can lead to death, so it’s critical to call 911 for emergency health care.

Risk factors 

Deep vein thrombosis typically occurs in patients who are immobile, bed-bound or recovering from surgery. Patients at a higher risk of developing blood clots include those who are obese, suffering from infections, or taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, as well as those who have vein injuries.

If you’re diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, our expert may also recommend making a few lifestyle changes that reduce your risk of developing a second clot. These lifestyle changes may include increasing your activity level, reducing your alcohol intake, and eating home-cooked meals. 

Find out if your symptoms are caused by a blood clot 

If you’re experiencing symptoms, contact us as soon as possible before the blood clot travels to your lungs. Dr. Gerges uses prescription medications such as blood thinners and clot-busting medications to prevent complications. 

If you suspect a blood clot, contact us to schedule an appointment at our offices in El Paso, Texas, and San Antonio, Texas.

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