About Deep Vein Thrombosis
When blood does not move properly through your veins, it can cause a buildup or clump of blood cells called a blood clot. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside of your body, most commonly the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. DVT can lead to major health complications and if left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Christopher Brennig offers comprehensive diagnostic care and treatment for patients with this dangerous condition at Austin Vein Institute in Austin, TX. Patients experiencing pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, or redness of an extremity should contact our facility to schedule an appointment right away.
If a blood clot breaks free from a vein and moves through your bloodstream, it could become lodged in a blood vessel in your lungs. This is called pulmonary embolism and is life-threatening. For this reason, patients experiencing any of the symptoms associated with DVT should seek medical attention right away. You are a candidate for the treatment of DVT if you are experiencing:
- Sudden, unexplained swelling in an arm or leg
- Unexplainable pain or soreness when standing or walking
- Tangible warmth in a sore extremity
- Veins that appear enlarged or swollen
- Blue or red skin in a consolidated area
Dr. Brennig's primary focus of DVT treatment is to prevent the blood clot from growing larger or dislodging and moving toward your lungs. He will also work to prevent the possibility of getting another DVT. To achieve this, Dr. Brennig may recommend medications, an inferior vena cava, or compression stockings.
- Medicine – Blood thinners are the most commonly used medications for the treatment of DVT. These medications reduce your body's ability to clot the blood. Because these medications have potentially serious side effects, they are reserved for patients with severe symptoms, large clots, and those at risk for a secondary clot or DVT.
- Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter – If blood thinners are not recommended for your condition, Dr. Brennig may insert a small cone-shaped filter insider of your vena cava vein, the largest vein in your body. This will prevent clots from reaching your veins.
- Compression Stockings – These specialty socks are very tight at the ankle, preventing blood clots from pooling in the veins. Compression stockings are available at many drugstores, but Dr. Brennig may prescribe a stronger version for more severe cases and patients at a higher risk of developing a DVT.
There are many simple lifestyle changes that can help lower your odds of getting a DVT. Some of the following methods are highly recommended to those who are at risk:
- Remain active by walking, running, or exercising at least 30 minutes a day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get regular check-ups with your primary care provider
- Take all prescribed medications as directed
- If you work a sedentary job or travel regularly, take frequent breaks to stretch your lower leg muscles
At Austin Vein Institute, we provide comprehensive diagnostic care and innovative solutions for the treatment of many vein-related conditions. Board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Christopher Brennig is dedicated to helping patients achieve optimal health and lead a high quality of life while feeling their best. If you have had a DVT in the past or at risk of one currently, schedule an appointment with our skilled team to learn how we can help. We look forward to helping you.