If you’ve ever been given compression stockings to wear on a long haul flight, you’ve probably been told that it’s to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). But what is venous thrombosis, and why does it pose such a risk?
Venous thrombosis is a condition caused by blood clots developing in your veins, with the effects causing a variety of symptoms from mild discomfort to death. It’s estimated that around 900,000 Americans are affected by the condition every year.
We don’t want to alarm you too much, but venous thrombosis is a condition that you should always take seriously. We’re going to cover the crucial information you need to know about the signs and symptoms to look out for, so you can take immediate action if necessary.
If you do recognize some of these symptoms, don’t delay in booking a consultation with Dr. Banda here in Colombia, MD, however trivial they may appear.
Venous thrombosis comes in two forms
You have veins in your skin in which blood clots can develop. When this happens, we call it superficial thrombosis. As these veins are small and located away from your major body organs, it’s rarely a life-threatening condition; but the causes of superficial venous thrombosis shouldn’t be ignored.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), like the name suggests, is where blood clots develop in the veins that are situated deeper in your body. A clot developing in one of these veins may cause an obstruction to your blood circulation or even travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism that can quickly lead to death.
The causes of venous thrombosis, both deep and superficial, are varied, but usually affect how your blood circulates around your body. They also affect the way in which your blood is able to clot, like from prolonged bed rest and sitting still for too long while traveling. Other things can also promote clotting, such as surgery, chronic illness, and even hormonal treatments. Lifestyle factors can put you at risk too, like age, obesity, smoking, and your choice of contraception.
Many people can be at risk of developing venous thrombosis at any stage in their life. Therefore, what are the signs and symptoms for which you should be looking?
Key symptoms of venous thrombosis
One of the first indicators of venous thrombosis is pain in a leg or arm, often accompanied by swelling, redness, and the affected area feeling hot. If the thrombosis is in a superficial vein, you may notice a red, hard lump that’s painful to touch. If you have any of these symptoms, call for an appointment with Dr. Banda here at MD Vein & Skin Specialists as soon as possible.
If the thrombosis is at a deeper level and has developed into a pulmonary embolism (PE), you should go to your nearest ER immediately. Signs this has happened include:
- Chest pain that’s worse when you cough, or breathe in
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling dizzy, faint, or lightheaded
- Rapid pulse
- Sudden shortness of breath
Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening complication of venous thrombosis that takes the lives of up to 100,000 Americans each year. If you’re lucky enough to avoid or survive a PE from a deep vein thrombosis, you may still go on to develop postphlebitic syndrome, where the blood clot has caused permanent damage to your vein. This could result in leg pain, persistent swelling, skin sores, and discoloration.
Venous thrombosis is a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you suspect a case of venous thrombosis, you’re in the very best of hands with Dr. Banda, who is a diplomate of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine with over 25 years of experience in this field. Simply book an appointment online or call the clinic at 443-267-2428.