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Top Warning Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Have you been a couch potato while being on bed rest for a risky pregnancy? Perhaps you’ve been ill and haven’t been able to go about your normal routine for a while. It may surprise you to know that remaining still for too long can endanger your health by producing a blood clot. Clots can become a serious health issue. 

What is deep vein thrombosis?

You have surface veins, which you can easily see as bluish lines running just under your skin’s surface. You also have veins deep within your body. 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the veins deep within your body. A clot is a mass of platelets, which are red blood cells that promote clotting, and fibrin, a blood protein. The clot’s purpose is to try to heal the damage to an artery or vein. But clots can also damage your health if you develop deep vein thrombosis. 

Vascular surgeon Carol White, MD, with Dr. White's Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC in Morgantown, West Virginia, diagnoses and treats patients with deep vein thrombosis so that the condition doesn’t become a life threatening complication. 

Why is deep vein thrombosis a serious condition? 

Many blood clots disappear; your body’s natural healing processes absorb the clot over a period of time. However, a clot can become a serious condition. It can break free from its position, move upward along your bloodstream, and land in your lungs, where it can impede blood flow. When this occurs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be a fatal condition if not treated promptly. DVT that causes a pulmonary embolism is responsible for about 100,000 deaths a year in the United States. 

What are the warning signs of deep vein thrombosis? 

If you have a small blood clot, you may not have any symptoms. If you do have any of the following symptoms that can signal a clot, call Dr. White’s office right away and the staff will get you in to be examined. 

What causes deep vein thrombosis?

If you’ve recently had a hip or knee replacement, you’re at increased risk of a blood clot. Even though you’re encouraged to walk around, your legs may remain still for a good part of the day. Likewise, if you’ve been bedridden for a time from an at-risk pregnancy or an illness, you’re at higher risk of a clot in your leg. Even traveling on long plane rides can engender a clot. The calf muscles haven’t been working to keep your blood moving, which can precipitate a clot. 

Sometimes genetics play a part. Factor V Leiden is a mutation of a clotting factor that causes a clotting disorder. It increases your risk of a blood clot in the legs and/or lungs. Being over 65 years old, being obese, and smoking are also conditions that increase your risk of DVT. 

Call our office or request an appointment online with Dr. White's Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC, if you have any sign of deep vein thrombosis and for all of your vascular health needs. 

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