Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a condition caused by a blot clot, or “thrombus,” that can form in one or more of your deep veins. These clots can occur anywhere in your body, but most commonly develop in your lower leg, thigh or pelvis.
This condition can quickly become life-threatening. The blood clot can break free and travel to your lungs. Once there, it can cause a dangerous blockage called a pulmonary embolism.
Although the condition is relatively uncommon, the American Heart Association estimates that up to two million Americans develop DVT every year.
Our vascular specialists treat more patients than any other health system in Wisconsin. At Aurora, we offer a dedicated vascular medicine program, which many other hospital systems aren’t able to do.
We also offer:
Because this condition can quickly become life threatening, you should see your doctor right away if you develop any symptoms of deep vein thrombosis.
Some people develop DVT without any warning signs. However, the most common symptoms include:
A pulmonary embolism, a common complication of deep vein thrombosis, is extremely serious.
Get medical help immediately or call 911 if you develop any of these pulmonary embolism symptoms:
Learn more about pulmonary embolisms.
In some cases, lifestyle and habits can contribute to a person developing deep vein thrombosis. In other cases, certain inherited health disorders can cause this condition. Some people develop deep vein thrombosis without ever knowing the cause.
Common factors behind deep vein thrombosis include:
To determine whether you have deep vein thrombosis, your doctor will review your medical history, listen to your description of symptoms and do a physical examination. You may need additional diagnostic tests, including:
Learn more about radiographic testing.
Your Aurora vascular specialist will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific health needs. It may include:
Your doctor may recommend:
Home treatments that may be helpful include: