DVT treatment

DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis. The deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blood clot referred as a thrombus is formed in a vein of the deep circulatory system. A thrombosis into a deep vein is considered as a very serious problem as a piece of clot in a deep vein from DVT may break off and move through the veins back into the heart and eventually get pumped by the heart into the arteries of the lungs. DVTs may occur at any part of the body but most frequently are found in the veins of the legs, pelvis and thighs. DVT is a fairly common condition that affects almost two million Americans every year.

DVT may partly or fully block the blood flow that can cause chronic pain with swelling. It can damage the valves of blood vessels. This can even lead to death within a few hours. This problem can be recognized with various symptoms like-swelling and pain in legs, warmth in the skin of the affected leg, red or maybe discolored skin of the affected area, visible surface veins or leg fatigue. It may even be detected if the person suffers with a sudden cough, sharp chest pain, fast breathing or shortness of breath.

The major cause of the deep vein thrombosis is the poor flow of blood as when the circulation slows down, the blood may pool and form clots more easily raising the risk of DVT. Some surgeries can also increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis particularly surgery which reduces the blood flow to any part of body, surgery on hip, leg, abdomen or chest or any orthopedic surgery. These surgeries can increase the DVT risk as the tissue debris, protein or fats can move in the veins after the surgery. Surgery can even damage the vein walls which can also release some substances promoting the formation of a blood clot.

Any condition requiring bed rest for a length of time also increases the DVT risk. Some other factors increasing the risk of DVT are cancer, inherited conditions that increase blood clotting, paralysis, a recent C-section delivery, frequent heart attacks or inflammatory bowel problems.
The risk of deep vein thrombosis generally increases with age after 60. It is also affected by lifestyle factors like sitting for long periods, being overweight, smoking or use of birth control pills.

DVT treatment options vary from medication to surgery. The major goals of treatment are to prevent a clot from developing, breaking and traveling to the lungs or any other organ, to avoid long-lasting complications like leg pain or swelling and to prevent the recurrence of blood clots.

Blood thinners, referred as anticoagulants, are the most common kind of DVT treatment. These include heparin and warfarin. Blood thinners basically prevent future development of a clot but they can not dissolve any existing clot. Heparin is given in the hospitals for about a week. The low-molecular-weight heparin is a relatively new DVT treatment that is often effective within hours, reducing the complications after surgery. This treatment does not require regular blood tests.

Warfarin treatment requires a pill once a day. This treatment can continue for a period of three to six months. The warfarin needs regular blood tests so as to ensure the correct dosage as too low a dosage increases the clot risk and too much of it increases the risk of bleeding excessively.

Other than blood thinners there can be many treatments for DVT like vena cava filter, elevation and compression and venous thrombectomy. Generally, the doctor will determine treatment on a least invasive basis unless there is a severe issue already building.

Certain changes in lifestyle which can prevent the DVT include maintaining an active lifestyle including regular exercise, managing weight with healthy diet, avoid smoking and the avoidance of hormone therapy or other medications that may contribute to the development of DVT.

Last updated on Oct 4th, 2010 and filed under Beauty. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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