Venous Disease

Diagnosis & Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Blood clots occur when blood thickens and clumps together. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. They also can occur in other parts of the body.
A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus. It can travel to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism, or PE.
PE is a very serious condition. It can damage the lungs and other organs in the body and cause death.
Blood clots in the thighs are more likely to break off and cause PE than blood clots in the lower legs or other parts of the body. Blood clots also can form in veins closer to the skin’s surface. However, these clots won’t break off and cause PE.

Reasons for Referral

Only about half of the people who have DVT have signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms occur in the leg affected by the deep vein clot. They include:



This procedure is used to dissolve a large clot. A catheter (thin tube) is inserted into the vein. X-rays are taken of the vein and the clot. Then, clot-dissolving medicine is delivered to the clot through the catheter. In some cases, a mechanical device is also used to break up the clot. This procedure is not recommended for everyone with a DVT. Your healthcare provider will review the risks and benefits with you. In some people, thrombolysis is a very effective treatment for blood clots.


This procedure may be used to widen the affected vein and improve blood flow after the blood clot has been dissolved. Narrowing (stenosis) of the vein can block blood flow and make it more likely for a blood clot to form. A catheter with a balloon on the end is inserted into the affected vein. X-rays are used to position the catheter. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated to widen your vein. In some cases, a wire mesh device, called a stent, may also be placed in your vein to help keep it open.

Inferior Vena Cava Filter

An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a small device used to trap an embolus in your lower body to prevent it from traveling to your lungs. A long, narrow tube (catheter) is put into one of your veins. It is used to place the filter in your vena cava, your body’s largest vein.

SYMPTOMS OF venous Disease


Swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg

Pain or tenderness in the leg, which you may feel only when standing or walking

Increased warmth in the area of the leg that’s swollen or painful

Red or discolored skin on the leg

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