Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a deep vein, meaning, a vein that isn’t reachable through the surface of the skin. While this may sound scary, the good news is that this condition is preventable and treatable, if detected early. Even when detected later, we have treatments to help you stay healthy, and guidance to assist you.
Our warm and compassionate staff is led by Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC, a board-certified interventional cardiologist at Premier Vein and Vascular in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Saiyad has years of experience treating patients with or at risk of developing DVT in Tampa and Largo. With over 300,000 new cases of DVT each year in the US, Dr. Saiyad is here to help.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Blood clots, or thrombi, while common, are dangerous, no matter where they occur in the body. DVT occurs when a thrombi forms in a vein in the leg. While this alone is enough to necessitate proper medical attention, there are other risk factors once the blood clot has formed.
A person living with DVT may or may not experience symptoms. This is part of the reason that it’s important to work closely with Dr. Saiyad to manage the health of your vascular system – without symptoms, it’s easy for this condition to be missed during your regular check-ups. Symptoms of DVT include:
- Pain in the leg where the blood clot has formed
- Swelling in the leg
DVT can happen to anyone, of any background or age group. Certain risk factors can elevate the likelihood that a person could develop DVT, including:
- Family history of DVT or VTE (Venous thromboembolism, or blood clots)
- Senior age
- Use of hormonal birth control
- Being overweight
- Certain cancers
DVT can also appear in the arm. When this happens, it’s called Upper-Extremity DVT. Again, the condition may show no symptoms but may cause neck pain, shoulder pain, and swelling in the hands and arms.
What are the complications?
The most dangerous complication of DVT occurs when the blood clot breaks free and begins to travel to the lungs, where it can clog an artery in the lungs. The clot prevents the circulation of oxygenated blood in the body. This is called a pulmonary embolism, and it is a life-threatening condition that must be treated immediately in a hospital setting. Some symptoms include:
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Blood in the lungs
- Chest pain
Venous thromboembolism happens when both DVT and pulmonary embolism affect you at the same time.
How do I prevent this from happening?
Starting with a balanced diet that includes plenty of whole grains and vegetables is good for your health overall, but is also effective at preventing and treating DVT. If you’re a smoker, nicotine raises your risk of developing DVT, among other conditions. It’s important to work with your primary care doctor to quit smoking immediately.
Exercise is an essential ally in the fight against DVT. Spending plenty of time every day with walking and exercise can help alleviate symptoms, and keep blood circulating. Dr. Saiyad may recommend other treatments, including blood thinners, compression socks, and clot-busting medicines.
DVT isn’t something to be ignored, and staying on top of your health and your habits is the best option for your health and longevity. Call us at 813-302-7620, or use our online appointment system to book your consultation with Dr. Saiyad today.