Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when a clot is found in a deep vein usually in the lower extremities. This clot — if left untreated — could migrate to the lungs and create a pulmonary embolism.
Some risk factors include:
— Being older than 60
— Heart failure
— Coagulation disorders
— Surgery within the past several months
Usually the symptoms include pain and swelling of the leg typically in the calf area or thigh. In some patients it could be completely void of symptoms. The diagnosis is usually made by a history and physical, ultrasound with Doppler flow studies (this is when doctors could measure the actual blood flow of the vein using sound waves).
Without treatment, lower extremity DVT has a 3 percent chance of developing into a deadly pulmonary blood clot. All patients receive anticoagulation therapy for several months and monitor the resolution of the clot. Anticoagulation treatment could have some risks in some patients. Bleeding is a common problem in patients receiving anticoagulation treatments, especially if they are over 65 years old, have a history of gastric bleeding or stroke.
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Dr. Manny Alvarez is the managing editor of health news at FOXNews.com, and is a regular medical contributor on the FOX News Channel. He is chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Additionally, Alvarez is Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.