DVT – deep vein thrombosis – is a condition in which the large veins of the legs become damaged as the result of disease, medications, injury during surgeries, or other causes and begin to form blood clots or thrombi along their cell walls. Even if these blood clots stay where they originally formed, they restrict blood flow and thus weaken your immune system and deteriorate your overall health.
Frequently, however, the blood clots caused by DVT break loose and travel through the venous system to your brain (where they can cause a stroke) or to your lungs (where they can cause a pulmonary embolism, or PE). The latter complication of DVT is so common that doctors refer to it by a single acronym, DVT/PE. Deep vein thrombosis is considered a “silent killer” because most of the over 300,000 Americans who die from it every year didn’t even know they were ill. In this article, we help you protect yourself by explaining more about DVT.
Symptoms of DVT you should be aware of
Before presenting the following list of symptoms, we should present the Bad News about DVT – over half of all cases produce no symptoms at all, or at the very least no symptoms that a non-physician would recognize. But if DVT symptoms do become noticeable, they are usually one of the following:
- Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, primarily while standing or walking.
- Aching in the affected legs, often accompanied by chronic leg fatigue.
- Swelling in one or both legs, usually first noticed in the calf.
- Patches of warmth on the skin surface of the affected leg.
- Red, discolored skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee.
- Visible surface veins
Symptoms aren’t always present, so you should know the risk factors for DVT
Because the symptoms listed above don’t always appear, when New Jersey vein experts assess your likelihood of getting DVT, we look for known risk factors. Two of them you can’t do anything about – being over the age of 50 and having a family history of vein disease. But there are a number of other risk factors that you can do something about by trying to reduce or eliminate them. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, stop. If you’re overweight, do whatever is necessary to bring your weight under control. And if your job tends to keep you chained to a desk, get more exercise and remember to take “walk around” breaks every hour.
Is there a “sure-fire” way to know if I have DVT or if I am at high risk for it?
The best way to protect yourself from DVT is to make an appointment with a trusted vein treatment center in New Jersey to schedule a venous health screening. These examinations are fast (less than an hour), painless, and completely non-invasive, but they allow experts like Dr. John Chuback to detect DVT, even in its earliest stages, when it is easiest to treat. If you do have DVT, he can help you get rid of it, and if you don’t have DVT but have a high risk of developing it, he can help you protect yourself and stay healthy. So get proactive about your vein health by calling Chuback Medical Group, and a top vein doctor in Bergen County, at 201-693-4847 today.