Deep Vein Thrombosis
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein and causes a blockage. A DVT usually develops in the distal calf vein, but it sometimes also occurs proximally (above the knee) in the popliteal, femoral or iliac veins. A DVT can occur in other deep veins in your body too. Arterial thrombosis is a clot that develops in an artery. It can be dangerous as it can obstruct the flow of the blood to major organs. Some people may be at higher risk of blood clots known as Thrombophila and these can be caused by genetic mutations. More information can be found in the DVT causes section.
What is Venous Thromboembolism?
Some people may only realise they have a DVT when a pulmonary embolism (PE) develops as a result of a blood clot or piece of clot (embolus) being pumped around in the blood and blocking one of the blood vessels in the lungs. Pulmonary embolism is a very serious condition and if left untreated, can be fatal.
Some of the common symptoms of a DVT are:
- Tenderness in the calf or leg
- Swelling of the calf or leg
- Colour and temperature changes – feeling warm and become red
- Swelling and a feeling of tightness, the skin may feel stretched
- However some DVTs have no symptoms at all (asymptomatic)