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The Dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a medical condition in which blood clots occur in the deep veins of your body. If a blood clot breaks off, it can increase your risk for premature death. 

Deep vein thrombosis is more likely to occur in obese patients, patients who’ve recently undergone major surgery, patients who engaged in prolonged bed rest, pregnant women, and women on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. 

Fortunately, when caught early, deep vein thrombosis is manageable. Below, we asked our expert at i-Vascular Center, Dr. Anwar S. Gerges, to explain how deep vein thrombosis occurs and what steps you can take to reduce your risk for complications.

What causes deep vein thrombosis 

About a century ago, a German physician named Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow described the three most important factors in the development of deep vein thrombosis. 

Today these are known as Virchow’s triad: excessive blood clotting, vein damage, and poor blood flow. 

Different conditions and diseases can lead to one or more of these risk factors. For example, there’s an association between diabetes, high blood pressure, and deep vein thrombosis. 

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include inflammation in one of the legs, red or discolored skin, pain, and warmth. 

Deep vein thrombosis dangers 

Once a blood clot has occurred in your veins, there are a few scenarios that can play out. The blood clot can be dissolved by plasmin (factors that dissolve clots). The clot can also be dislodged, becoming free to travel through the veins. 

Dislodgement can lead to a life-threatening situation. If a large enough clot reaches the lungs, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen to the lungs, causing sections of the lungs to die off. This medical emergency is known as a lung infarction. 

Seek immediate emergency care if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing with blood. 

Learn more about managing your deep vein thrombosis 

To help manage your deep vein thrombosis, Dr. Gerges may recommend blood thinners, medications that dissolve the clots, or vena cava filters. 

Many of these therapeutic approaches are meant to prevent complications. However, they can’t entirely eliminate the risk. 

Dr. Gerges will advise you to further reduce your risk by staying physically active, losing weight if necessary, or changing medications if your current medications increase your risk for blood clots.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. We can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment for your deep vein thrombosis.

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