Deep Vein Thrombosis - Causes, Risk Factors, And Symptoms

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Deep Vein Thrombosis - Causes, Risk Factors, And Symptoms
Deep Vein Thrombosis - Causes, Risk Factors, And Symptoms
Video: Deep Vein Thrombosis - Causes, Risk Factors, And Symptoms
Video: Deep vein thrombosis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology 2023, February
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Deep vein thrombosis: causes & symptoms

Usually several factors work together in the development of a blood clot (thrombosis). These can be hereditary and / or have an external effect. Thrombosis can develop in any vein of the body, but the most common areas are the leg and pelvic veins. They can pass without discomfort or cause clear symptoms. Certain measures can reduce the risk of developing venous thrombosis.

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Venous thrombosis: what is it?

When we injure ourselves, the blood coagulates to close the wound. This body's repair mechanism is vital. If it comes in the wrong place and time, it can be life threatening. The resulting blood clot clogs the vein and the blood can no longer flow freely. Acute deep leg or pelvic vein thrombosis (phlebothrombosis, DVT) is a partial or complete obstruction in the main vein system. Theoretically, blood clots (thromboses) can develop in any body vein, but the preferred location is the leg and pelvic veins.

Blood clotting in the wrong place can develop in three ways:

  • The clot dissolves quickly and has no consequences for the affected vein.
  • The blood clot separates from the vein wall and is transported on to other blood vessels. It is particularly dangerous if the blood clot is washed into the lungs. The occlusion of a pulmonary artery threatens a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
  • The blood clot is converted into connective tissue on the spot and leads to a permanent obstruction to drainage in the affected vein. This can lead to the destruction of venous valves and ultimately - as a late complication - to chronic venous insufficiency, which is referred to as post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS).

Deep vein thrombosis is the most serious venous disease because it always harbors the risk of a life-threatening pulmonary embolism and, on the other hand, can lead to post-thrombotic syndrome, a lifelong sequela.

What are the main risk factors?

  • Changes in the composition of the blood: e.g. due to coagulation disorders (including congenital or due to an operation or childbirth), certain drugs or poisons, pregnancy, dehydration of the body and certain autoimmune and tumor diseases.
  • Slowing down of the blood flow: e.g. due to varicose veins, immobility (e.g. bed restraint, wearing a cast, lying down for long periods after operations, accidental injuries or heart attacks, but also long periods of sitting with restricted mobility (e.g. long flights).
  • Damage to the inner vein walls: e.g. from injuries, inflammation and above all age-related changes in the veins, diabetes, damage to the vascular wall caused by carbon monoxide (smoking) or tumors.

The risk of deep vein thrombosis increases in women who smoke who take the pill or hormone replacement therapy, as well as in those who are obese and with increasing age.

How to prevent deep vein thrombosis

The following measures can reduce the risk of developing a venous thrombosis:

  • Regular exercise,
  • Leg exercises while sitting or standing,
  • Clarification of the risk before a planned operation,
  • Avoiding the pill as a contraceptive.

What symptoms can occur with deep vein thrombosis?

A thrombosis can go unnoticed without any symptoms or only express itself through uncharacteristic signs. In many cases, a feeling of heaviness, tension or warmth in the affected leg or a relatively sudden onset of painful swelling of the leg is noticed initially. Often pain (at rest and during exertion) and a hardening of the calf occur, later the skin can turn slightly bluish or reddish in color.

Shortness of breath, fever, cough, chest pain and accelerated heart rate can also occur. These symptoms indicate a pulmonary embolism that has already occurred.

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