What is Deep Vein Thrombosis
There are 3 major circulation systems in the human body, the Arteries bring blood from the Heart to the various vital Organs, Veins bring the blood from the Organs back to the Heart and in layman’s terms, the Lymphatics mope up all the excess fluids and return them back to the circulatory system.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a medical term referring to blood clots forming in the veins of the human body and especially in the lower limbs.
These clots form when there is a disruption to the flow of the blood in the veins, a change in the ‘thickness’ of the blood and damages of the inner lining of veins. Situations that contribute to this include; long periods of immobility, hip and knee surgery, taking the oral contraceptive pill and having late-stage cancer.
DVT is a particularly serious condition as the pieces of the clot can travel to the patient’s heart or lung causing life-threatening consequences. If the clot causes a severe blockage, the blood supply to the legs can be compromised leading to gangrene and amputations. In the long term, the clots cause damages to the valves in the veins leading to a condition called Venous Insufficiency (see varicose veins).
DVT can be prevented if preventative medications are taken before major hip and knee surgery and taking ‘walking breaks’ during long-haul (more than 4 hours) flights.
Causes and Risk Factors
Deep vein thrombosis happens when the veins inside one’s body are obstructed causing abnormal blood flow and later on, difficulty in breathing as well as abnormal pulse rate. Thus, it can be inferred that anything that causes damage to the veins can be considered as a cause for having deep vein thrombosis. While there isn’t a definite cause unlike other medical conditions, many vein doctors are naming some risk factors to develop DVT. Some of which are as follows:
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment options
Fortunately, with the advances made in medical technology DVT can be treated comprehensively without major surgery. ‘Filters’ can be placed via small injections in the neck or groin to prevent clots from travelling to the heart or lungs. Similarly, via these small injections in the groin, devices like Rotarex S and AngioJet can be used to suck up large portions of the clot. All these procedures are performed under sedation and local anaesthesia without the need for General Anaesthesia.
Even in terms of long-term treatment with medications, patients no longer have to put up with injections or repeated blood taking associated with older treatments like Warfarin or Clexane. Now, with oral medications like Xarelto, long-term medical treatment for DVT can be administered without injections.
DVT is a serious medical condition with debilitating and life-threatening consequences. However, with advances in modern technology, treatment no longer involves major operations and cumbersome injections.