What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
The leg contains two types of veins: superficial veins, which are close to the surface, and deep veins, which are deep within the leg. Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition that affects the veins that are deep within the leg.
With Deep Vein Thrombosis a blood clot forms in a deep vein. The clot can form in other parts of the body, but these clots most commonly occur in the legs, usually in the calf or thigh.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a dangerous condition because if the clot breaks loose, it can travel through the bloodstream. If the clot travels through the bloodstream, it can lodge in the lung, causing a blockage.
A blockage in the lung caused by a clot is called a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism can make breathing difficult and can even cause death.
Some people with DVT have few or no symptoms. Symptoms can be very vague and may include swelling in the leg, pain in the calf or thigh, and/or warmth and redness of the leg.
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. DVT is considered a medical emergency.
DVT can be difficult to diagnose for two reasons: 1) Some patients have no symptoms, 2) In patients who do have symptoms, the symptoms can be very similar to other conditions like arthritis, a fracture, an infection, a clot in a superficial vein, or a pulled muscle.
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