Most people think of vein disease as only involving aesthetic issues such as varicose veins and spider veins. However, Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) refers to a type of blood clot in the legs, which can develop as a complication of venous insufficiency or vein disease. People with varicose veins and spider veins are at risk of developing DVT – but it often goes completely unnoticed. Leading vein doctor Dr. Tif Siragusa of the Siragusa Vein and Vascular Center encourages you to learn more about DVT and to take steps to lower your risk.
What do Nashville, TN residents need to know about the danger of deep vein thrombosis?
The problem with DVT is that blood clots can develop deep in the legs, completely painlessly and invisibly to the patient. While these blood clots may cause no serious problems while in the legs, they can impair your circulation, and if they break free from their original location and travel to the heart, lungs or brain, they can cause a deadly embolism. In fact, over 300,000 people in the United States die every year from embolisms.
Classic symptoms of DVT that you might be able to detect yourself include pain, swelling, and redness in the legs. If a blood clot has formed in one of the deep veins, it may also cause the surface skin in that area to feel warm to the touch, or to turn a reddish color. However, only about half of people with DVT experience symptoms, and the other half do not. This is why, if you are at risk for vein disease, you should have a professional spider vein specialist perform a thorough vein health evaluation to detect and, if needed, treat DVT. Those at risk for vein disease include people who are overweight or obese, those who do not exercise, those who are over age 50, and those with a family history of vein disease.
How is DVT diagnosed and treated?
Modern, painless ultrasound is currently the diagnostic tool of choice for leading varicose vein centers such as Siragusa Vein and Vascular Center. Ultrasound allows the vein specialist to see deep under the surface of the skin, to examine varicose veins and to search for blood clots. If a blood clot is found, there are various treatment options available. You may be prescribed a blood thinner to help prevent new clot formation and to keep your current clot from growing. If necessary, ultrasound-guided endovenous laser treatment (EVLT treatment) by a laser expert can be used to safely dissolve the blood clots and return your veins to a state of normal health. This treatment is minimally invasive, requires only local anesthetics, and involves no extensive recovery times.
If you have any questions about the risk factors for vein disease or for deep vein thrombosis, or about getting rid of varicose veins, Dr. Siragusa and his team would be delighted to meet with you and discuss your concerns. Please give our Nashville, TN center a call at (615) 884-7600 to set up an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.