DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is when a clot develops in one of the deep veins of your body. The vast majority of clots develop in the deep veins of the legs.

What causes DVT to happen? Traveling/Sports? Generics/ blood disorders?

There are various causes for DVT, including “provoked” causes such as an injury, hormone therapy such as oral contraceptives, and prolonged travel. Other types of DVT are called “unprovoked” and are secondary to an abnormality in the way the body forms clots. How do I know if I have a DVT? The most common symptom of a DVT in the legs is the development of new swelling in an extremity, such as the leg. This symptom is often fairly sudden.

What should I do if I think I have a DVT?

If you can get into your PCP within the day, then it is reasonable to go to your PCP or local healthcare provider. If a patient cannot get into an office in a timely fashion, then we recommend patients present to the Emergency Department. Our clinic also provides same-day evaluations for patients with high concerns for deep vein thrombosis.

Are some people more likely to have DVT than others?

Yes. Some families have a history of DVT, which runs in their family. Other patients are at a higher risk of developing clots, such as patients with cancer or on oral contraceptives. Certain surgeries, such as Orthopedic interventions, also carry higher risks for DVT.

What can I do to prevent a DVT from developing?

Moving your muscles is the best way to prevent DVT. Whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, or other forms of movement, anything that gets the blood moving is good for clot prevention.

What kind of doctors diagnose and treat DVT?

There are a variety of doctors who manage DVT. Often a person’s PCP/Internist will provide the primary management of standard DVT. Blood doctors called Hematologists will also offer guidance if more complicated therapy is needed. Vascular Interventional Radiologists and Vascular Surgeons can also treat DVT specifically by performing procedures that can remove clots to decrease a patient’s short-term and long-term symptoms.

For more information, visit Vascular Interventional Physicians at Vipphysiciansmemphis.com or call 901.747.1007.

By John D. Braun, MD