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What Are the Symptoms of a DVT?

Your leg may hurt or swell for a variety of reasons. It can be risky, though, if your symptoms are caused by a blood clot located deep within your leg — known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood clots can strike anyone at anytime. However, some people are more vulnerable. 

It’s important to be under the care of a specialist if you’re at risk for blood clots. Led by board-certified cardiovascular physician Dr. Majed Chane, the team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists has extensive experience diagnosing and treating vascular issues such as DVT. It’s crucial to know the signs so you can act swiftly to get medical attention.

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Blood clots are thick clumps of blood that can develop anywhere in your body. Deep vein thrombosis refers to a blood clot that develops deep within the body, usually in your thigh or lower leg. 

Although deep vein thrombosis has classic signs, it can sometimes go unnoticed and some people are unaware that they have a DVT until it progresses to more serious complications. 

Deep vein thrombosis is particularly dangerous because clots have the potential to break off and circulate through the bloodstream. A clot traveling through the bloodstream can become lodged in an artery in the lungs. This can obstruct blood flow and cause pulmonary embolism, which is life-threatening. 

Recognizing the signs

Here are key DVT symptoms to watch out for:

Swelling

Swelling is one of the most common signs of DVT. Just one area of the leg may swell, or the entire leg swells in some cases. Unlike swelling that comes from an injury, DVT-related swelling usually develops without a noticeable cause.

Additionally, swelling from a DVT worsens over time instead of getting better the way swelling from an injury does.  

Pain or tenderness

Pain in the affected leg is another classic symptom of DVT. It may start out as feeling sore and gradually turn into pain that gets worse, especially when you bend your ankle, pointing your foot upward toward your knee.

Red or discolored skin

Along with swelling and pain, DVT typically causes redness in the area of the clot. The affected leg may turn red or dark blue. 

A feeling of warmth

The area around the blood clot may feel warmer than the surrounding skin. This warmth, coupled with other symptoms, is a sign of a potential blood clot.

Why it’s crucial to act quickly

Don’t wait if you think you’re seeing signs of a DVT. Prompt treatment reduces your risk of complications. Medications like blood thinners can prevent the clot from growing or breaking loose. Additionally, compression stockings can bring down swelling and reduce your risk of further clotting.

DVT is a silent condition that, if left unchecked, can have serious health consequences. When it comes to a potential DVT, it’s better to exercise caution and seek medical advice.

For this and all of your cardiovascular needs, contact our team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists to schedule an appointment today.

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