All about Deep vein thrombosis and its treatment
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that is characterized by a blood clot in your vein. A DVT can be due to the slow movement of blood in the veins, resulting in the clumping of blood cells. This is known as a clot. A DVT mostly occurs on your lower leg. However, it can occur on other parts of your body as well, such as the pelvis, and thigh. DVT is a serious condition that manifests in such symptoms as swelling on the affected leg. The swelling can also get painful. However, the condition may also happen without any symptoms. DVT is common in people aged 60 and above. Other risks factors for DVT include smoking, obesity, and having varicose veins.
Certain medical conditions such as heart failure or cancer may also predispose you to DVT while taking contraceptive pills is also a risk factor. Staying in bed for long, as often happen after an operation or traveling by plane may also put you at risk of DVT. To treat DVT, your doctor may prescribe certain medications, such as blood thinners or thrombolytic drugs. Compression stockings may also reduce swelling and hence prevent the development of blood clots. In case the blood clots are very large or there has been tissue damage, such treatments may not work. Therefore, your surgeon may suggest surgery. It is important that you visit your doctor if you develop symptoms of DVT so that he or she can conduct a detailed examination and make a formal diagnosis. This will also enable your doctor to recommend the most appropriate treatment for the condition.
The following factors increase your risk for DVT:
- Family history: If any of your family members had DVT, this puts you at a higher risk of developing the condition. In case both of your parents had DVT, you are at an even higher risk of developing the condition yourself
- Previous blood clot: If you have had a blood clot in the past, there is a 30% chance that it could recur
- Age: People aged 40 and above may be at risk for DVT. As you reach the age of 60 and above, the odds that you may get DVT are even higher
- Bed rest: In case you have been put on bed rest while for example, recovering from an operation, you could be at risk of a DVT. The deep veins in your legs rely on muscles to pump blood back to the heart and lungs. While on bed rest, your muscles are inactive. Consequently, a pool of blood may form in your lower legs. This increases the chances of clot formation.
- Sitting for longer periods: While traveling long distances, such as by train or plane, you have to sit for several hours. This is likely to result in relaxed muscles in the lower part of your legs. Consequently, blood circulation could be hindered, and hence the development of a blood clot
- Obesity: If you have a body mass index (BMI) that is greater than 30, it means you are obese. Such people are more predisposed to DVT in comparison with individuals with normal body weight. This is because obesity causes blood to stagnate in your veins. As a result, the risk for clot formation increases
- Surgery or injury: If you have had surgery, you may be at risk of blood clot formation. An injured vein also puts you in great danger for blood clots
Pregnancy: Pregnant women are highly prone to DVT due to pressure increase in the veins serving their legs and pelvis.
If you have DVT, you are likely to manifest the following signs and symptoms:
- Cramping or throbbing pain on the affected leg. The pain rarely affects both of your legs. Also, this throbbing pain is mainly felt around the thigh or calf region
- The affected leg will have a swelling
- You may develop discolored skin or redness on the leg
- The affected leg has a warm feeling to it
- Enlarged veins
In case you develop the following symptoms, in addition to a swollen and painful leg, you need to seek emergency medical attention:
- Tightness or sharp pain around your chest
- Your arm, jaw, or shoulder feels painful
- Shortness of breath
- Fast heartbeat
- Feeling lightheadedness
In case a blood clot breaks free it may travel through the bloodstream and dislodge in your lungs. The ensuing condition is known as pulmonary embolism and it is very risky. In rare cases, a blood clot can break free and travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke.
Your doctor will start with taking your medical history as a starting point for diagnosing DVT. While taking your medical history, your doctor will want to know more about your symptoms, such as when they became apparent. He or she will ask if you have had a DVT in the past, or if there is anyone in your family with DVT. Your doctor will also conduct a physical exam to determine if there is any sign of tenderness, swelling, or skin discoloration.
Your doctor may also order certain tests that will indicate whether the level is at risk for DVT that is if it is high risk or low risk. Some of the tests for diagnosis of a blood clot include:
- Duplex ultrasound: This is the gold standard test for detecting DVT. It relies on sound waves to develop pictures of the flow of blood in your veins. Duplex ultrasound is not an invasive test
- D-dimer blood test: In case of severe DVT, your D dimer levels in the blood rise. D dimer Blood clots produce D-dimer which is a kind of protein. If the D-dimer test results are normal, your doctor will rule out pulmonary embolism (PE)
- Venography: In this test, your doctor injects a special dye into one of the large veins in your ankle or foot. The images of the veins become visible via the X-ray image that is developed through this test. Your doctor will rarely order this test given its invasive nature. Other tests like ultrasound are preferred
- MRI scan: This test gives clear images of the veins in your abdomen, thus making it easier to diagnose DVT
While treating DVT, your doctor hopes to achieve three overarching goals:
- To ensure the clot does not increase in size
- To avoid a situation whereby the clot breaks off and moves to your lungs
- To minimize the risk of another DVT
The following are some of the treatment options available for managing DVT:
- Blood thinners: These drugs have an anticoagulant function and are mainly used in treating DVT. The mode of action of blood thinners is to reduce the risk of existing blood clots getting bigger. Additionally, blood thinners minimize the risk of additional blood clots forming. However, they do not break up the blood clots that have already formed. Blood thinners are usually administered through various means. They include an IV (for example, in this case, Heparin) or orally. Alternatively, blood thinners can be administered via an injection. Some of the common blood thinners that your doctor may prescribe include fondaparinux and enoxaparin. Your doctor may prescribe blood thinners for several months, usually three months or more. You need to make sure you take the medication as per your doctor’s prescription, to reduce the risk of serious side effects forming
- Compression stockings: These are special socks worn under a doctor’s recommendations to minimize the risk of blood pooling and hence the formation of blood clots. It is recommended that you wear compression stockings as high as the knees to minimize the risk of swelling due to deep DVT. The stockings are to be worn during the day. You may have to wear compression stockings for about 2 years or longer
- Filters: In case your doctor has determined that blood thinners are not suitable, he or she may recommend inserting a filter into the vena cava in your stomach. The role of such a filter is to trap any blood clot that might have broken off and hence avoid it from traveling to your lungs or heart
If your doctor has established that the blood clot is too large and hence cannot be treated by medication filters or compression stockings. He or she may recommend surgery. Some of the surgical procedures to treat DVT include:
This constitutes a minimally invasive procedure that helps to dissolve blood clots. It leads to improved blood flow. During the procedure, the doctor will insert a catheter into a vein in your leg. The doctor relies on x-ray imaging to enable him or her carefully thread the catheter through your vein. Once the catheter has reached the clot, your doctor will then infuse a drug that helps to dissolve the clot formed. The drug is administered via a catheter. It may take one or two days before the blood clot has fully dissolved.
Your doctor relies on ultrasound scans and special x-rays to closely monitor a catheter-directed thrombosis. Such images are essential as they will assist your doctor in establishing whether the vein is damaged or has narrowed. This increases the risk of additional clots forming in the future. In case your surgeon has identified such kind of damage, you will need to undergo a further procedure such as a balloon angioplasty, to prevent the formation of further blood clots.
This is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of blood clots caused by DVT. The procedure makes use of a laser beam delivered at high intensity. Laser treatment is a minimally invasive procedure in that there is no deep incision involved. The procedure takes a shorter time while the recovery period is also greatly reduced.
Post-op care and diet
After getting treated for DVT, your doctor will recommend certain lifestyle changes to helps you manage the condition, such lifestyle changes are also essential in terms of preventing the development of another clot.
- After getting discharged from the hospital, make sure to walk regularly as this will promote the flow of blood and hence reduce the irks of blood clots forming. While sitting, make sure that your leg is raised. Avoid traveling for long trips for at least 2-week post-surgery or after the anticoagulant medication has been administered.
- If you have been taking any supplements or vitamins it is important that you inform your doctor about it so that he or she can assess the likely interactions with the prescribed medication.
- If your doctor has prescribed blood thinners, make sure that you take such medication as directed.
- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended as it provides the much-needed vital mineral and vitamins, while whole grains are also ideal. Avoid kale and spinach as they are rich in vitamin K and it can interfere with certain medications.
- Take plenty of fluids to increase hydration. Avoid alcohol and coffee as these leave you dehydrated resulting in narrower veins. This can trigger the development of a blood clot.
Blood thinners can lead to excessive bleeding. Be on the lookout for this. Your doctor will advise you on some of the activities that can result in cuts or bruises. You will need to avoid such activities. Wear compression stockings at the advice of your doctor to reduce the risk of swollen veins.
The formation of a blood clot in a deep vein in the body, most often in the leg, gives rise to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT can get worse without treatment. The most beneficial treatment for DVT in Bangalore is Endovenous Laser Ablation
Benefits of Endovenous laser Ablation Treatment in Bangalore
Specialists at Bangalore are skilled at performing endovenous laser ablation for DVT.
Benefits are :
- Painless procedure
- Capable of eliminating all damaged veins during one sitting
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Prevents formation of blood clots in deep veins
- The patient can go home after the treatment
- Resume work and normal activities without delay
Seek hassle-free Assistance from Goficure
Approaching a qualified and skilled specialist to perform endovenous laser ablation in Bangalore can be confusing, to say the least. With so many hospitals and specialists performing the procedure, patients may not be in a position to research and find the best hospital and specialist.
At goficure, we have experience collaborating with several specialists in this field in Bangalore hospitals. What we offer is the following:
- Start-to-Completion healthcare services at one window
- Scheduling consultation appointments with the best specialist in Bangalore
- Fixing date for surgery
- Handling logistics of transportation, hospital admission, and discharge
- Handling insurance claims till completion of tasks
- Monitoring post-op care that includes diet and consultation
Goficure employs the best practices to connect patients with the top-class medical care in Bangalore while ensuring the process is smooth, tension-free, and completely hands-off for patients.
Exclusive features you get with goficure
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
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After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
3. Hassle-free treatment
If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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