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DIAGNOSIS: DVT, now what?

The treatment of deep vein thrombosis can include anticoagulation medications (or ‘blood thinners’) and medical grade compression stockings.  These treatment methods help prevent clots from enlarging and from traveling to danger zones which include deeper vein systems and most worrisome, the lungs.  Treatment is important as one-third of patients with DVT may have a recurrence within 10 years.

Those who suffer from a DVT may experience leg complications.  Symptoms such as chronic leg swelling and redness, chronic leg pain or leg ulcerations may indicate PTS or post-thrombotic syndrome.  PTS occurs in one-third of DVT patients.  Unlike venous insufficiency,  PTS requires long-term treatment/evaluations, is painful and affects the ability of one to get around.

There is no specific ‘cure’ for post-thrombotic syndrome only supportive care, usually the wearing of compression stockings.  Of course, the best way to prevent PTS is the prevention of blood clots.

If you think you may have a DVT,  go to the emergency room as soon as possible.  Patients typically notice a painful, tender or swollen area, usually the lower leg or thigh and may have redness or discoloration to that area.  Some patients may notice a leg muscle cramp that feels quite sharp or painful.

Education is the key to detection.  Early DVT detection can preserve your life-style and possibly save your life.   The following resources may help:


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