Deep VeinThrombosis


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot, called a thrombus, forms in a vein deep inside your body. The clot limits blood flow or blocks it completely. Blood clots most often form in your pelvis, thigh or lower leg, but they can develop in any deep vein.

These clots can break free and travel to the arteries in your lungs, causing a life-threatening blockage called a pulmonary embolism

You’re more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis if you:

  • Are over 60 
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are pregnant or recently gave birth
  • Are receiving certain cancer treatments
  • Don’t move for a long time because of travel, illness or surgery
  • Have a central venous catheter to receive medication 
  • Have vein damage from surgery, trauma or an autoimmune condition 
  • Smoke
  • Take birth control pills or hormone therapy


Deep vein thrombosis doesn’t always cause symptoms, but it can trigger: 

  • Leg ulcers
  • Pain, inflammation or warmth in one of your legs
  • Redness or discoloration of the skin on one of your legs
  • Swelling in one leg or along one leg vein


To diagnose deep vein thrombosis, your doctor will do a physical exam and may recommend diagnostic tests,  such as a CT (computed tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), an ultrasound or an X-ray.

Services & Treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of your condition. In general, doctors aim to prevent:

  • A pulmonary embolism
  • Damage to nearby tissue
  • The clot from getting larger and other clots from forming 

Your doctor will discuss which treatment options are right for you. This may include wearing compression stockings and elevating your feet whenever possible. Sometimes, however, medication or surgery may be necessary. Surgery generally means inserting a vena cava filter into the vein. The filter can help catch blood clots before they travel to the lungs.

Why Aurora?

You're at the Heart of Our Care 

Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and vascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular conditions and disorders, using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today. 

We have 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois so you can find a location that's closest to you. 

What’s all this mean to you? Convenient, coordinated and expert care.  

Find an   Aurora Cardiologist

Use our search tool to find the right doctor who's just right for you. 

Get a Second  Opinion

Knowing all your options can make life's toughest decisions a little easier.

Your Life Your Health

myAurora makes it easy to manage your care online, anytime.