How to Treat and Prevent Deep Various Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

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Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of heaviness, swelling, or pain in your leg? You might have thought that it is because you have run too much or are just tired after a hectic day. Various search engines would tell you it is a blood clot, and you will find yourself swamped with a bewildering array of half-baked facts or even misinformation. Exasperated, we tend to leave it as one of the unimportant things.

There is an urgent need for demystifying the myths around problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and modes of treatment for it.

So, do you have a blood clot every time you have leg swelling or feel pain? Well, of course not, but it is something we should all be aware of. 

Let us talk about DVT; the blood clot in the large veins of the legs, rarely in the arms or pelvis. There is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding DVT. But it is a commonly under-diagnosed, serious, yet a preventable medical condition. Therefore, it is necessary to know the basics of DVT and teach the search engines like Google a bit of factual knowledge from this blog next time.


What is DVT?


It is a pretty serious condition that occurs due to the blood clot located in a deep vein. Events related to them kill more people than combined mortality from AIDS and road accidents. DVTs are not something you could avoid easily. It can happen to anyone, from an athlete (increased risk due to physical trauma and dehydration) to an office-going individual. However, the risk is higher if you have undergone surgery, taken birth control pills, have a family history, or is suffering from a cancer.  


What Are the Risk Factors of DVT?


  • Prolonged bed rest due to any illness
  • Post-childbirth
  • Recent major surgery
  • Connective tissue disorders 
  • Oral contraceptives or hormone pills
  • Trauma/injury
  • Thrombophilia (tendency to develop clots)
  • Cancer
  • Long travels


Birth Control and Contraceptive Drugs: These do increase the chances of DVT. But it is uncommon, and the majority of women consuming these have no complications at all.

Women are at a greater risk than men during pregnancies and due to the consumption of oral contraceptives. But overall men have higher incidence rates of DVTs.


How to prevent?


Always try to do leg exercise while sitting for prolonged time like in air travel, drink plenty of water.


How to diagnose?


A simple ultra sound duplex can diagnose DVT which is non-invasive.


How to Treat DVT?


Treatment of DVT is not a lengthy, cumbersome or intricate process. Most of the DVTs require only three months of treatment. But in some cases, the vascular surgeon may give extended treatments based on the condition of patients. If major veins in abdomen (Iliac and IVC) are occluded vascular surgeon can offer small catheter based clot removal to reduce morbidity in later life.


 What Not to Do When Diagnosed?


The use of oil massages to reduce swelling may sound rational. But massaging can cause a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism, in which clots will migrate to the lungs.


What is essential to do is not to ignore symptoms that are regular or prolonged. Consultation of experienced doctors can avoid higher chances of the risk that accompany DVTs. Remember, you are at an increased risk if you had an episode of DVT in the past. So do inform your doctor whenever you identify any symptoms and whenever you seek treatment for other conditions. 


VASK and Vascular Surgeons


Vascular Society of Kerala (VASK) provides outpatient and hospitalisation treatments, anticoagulation therapies (using blood thinners), compression stockings, and thrombolytic drugs that dissolve clots, based on the conditions of the patients. In rare cases, we also provide Inferior Vena Cava Filters to patients.


With highly experienced people at VASK, it is possible to treat a patient without major morbidity and mortality. What is essential is to grasp that even though DVT is a dangerous condition, experienced doctors can prevent and cure it.