Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Diagram of DVT

What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Understanding DVT

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a large vein deep inside a leg, arm, or another part of the body. The clot can separate from the vein and travel to the lungs. This forms a pulmonary embolism (PE). In the lungs, the clot can cut off the flow of blood. This is a medical emergency and may cause death.

Healthcare providers use the term venous thromboembolism (VTE) to describe the two conditions, DVT and PE. They use the term VTE because the two conditions are very closely related. And, because their prevention and treatment are closely related.

Most often, a blood clot is treated with medicines that help to dissolve the clot. They also help prevent pulmonary embolism and other complications. But this is not true for everyone. Depending on your health, and the size and location of the blood clot, your healthcare provider may recommend that you have one or more procedures. 

Procedures to treat blood clots include thrombolysis, angioplasty, and vena cava filter placement. Your healthcare provider can give you more information about treating your blood clot, including information about these and other treatments. He or she can also answer any questions you may have.

Three ways to treat venous thrombosis: catheter delivering medication, balloon angioplasty, and embolus filter.

Most often, a blood clot is treated with medicines that help to dissolve the clot. They also help prevent pulmonary embolism and other complications. But this is not true for everyone. Depending on your health, and the size and location of the blood clot, your healthcare provider may recommend that you have one or more procedures. 

Procedures to treat blood clots include thrombolysis, angioplasty, and vena cava filter placement. Your healthcare provider can give you more information about treating your blood clot, including information about these and other treatments. He or she can also answer any questions you may have.

Three ways to treat venous thrombosis: catheter delivering medication, balloon angioplasty, and embolus filter.

THROMBOLYSIS

This procedure is used to dissolve a large clot. A catheter (thin tube) is inserted into the vein. X-rays are taken of the vein and the clot. Then, clot-dissolving medicine is delivered to the clot through the catheter. In some cases, a mechanical device is also used to break up the clot. This procedure is not recommended for everyone with a DVT. Your healthcare provider will review the risks and benefits with you. In some people, thrombolysis is a very effective treatment for blood clots. However, it does carry the risk of serious bleeding complications.

ANGIOPLASTY

This procedure may be used to widen the affected vein and improve blood flow. This is done after the blood clot has been dissolved. Narrowing (stenosis) of the vein can block blood flow and make it more likely for a blood clot to form. A catheter with a balloon on the end is inserted into the affected vein. X-rays are used to position the catheter. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated to widen your vein. In some cases, a wire mesh device, called a stent, may also be placed in your vein to help keep it open. You and your healthcare provider can discuss whether or not this procedure might help you.

INFERIOR VENA CAVA FILTER

An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a small device used to trap an embolus in your lower body to prevent it from traveling to your lungs. A long, narrow tube (catheter) is put into one of your veins. It’s used to place the filter in your vena cava, your body’s largest vein. Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of this procedure if it’s recommended for you.

VASCULAR SURGEONS AT THE SURGICAL CLINIC

dr julie boll best vascular surgeon near me in nashville tn at the surgical clinic

Dr. Julia Boll
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

best vascular surgeon at st thomas west hospital in nashville with the surgical clinic dr jeffrey dattilo

Dr. Jeffrey B. Dattilo
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

dr jimbob faulk vascular surgeon endovascular specialist the surgical clinic st thomas west

Dr. JimBob Faulk
Vascular/Endovascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

dr bryan fisher vascular surgery nashville and ashland city tn the surgical clinic

Dr. Bryan T. Fisher
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

Dr. Brian Kendrick, vascular surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Brian Kendrick
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

dr billy kim best best vascular surgeon in hermitage tn at the summit clinic

Dr. Billy J. Kim
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

dr. allen lee best vascular surgeon nashville vein doctor

Dr. Allen Lee
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

dr caroline nally best vascular surgeon at the surgical clinic in nashville st thomas west hospital clinic

Dr. Caroline Nally
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

Dr. James Richardson, general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. James Richardson
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

best vascular surgeon near me dr adam Richter

Dr. Adam Richter
Vascular/Endovascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

dr mark shelton best vasular surgeon in nashville at southern hills hospital

Dr. Mark Shelton
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

best vascular surgeon the surgical clinic rutherford hospital dr todd wilkens

Dr. Todd H. Wilkens
Vascular Surgery
VIEW PROFILE

Dr. Patrick Yu, general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Patrick Yu
Vascular Surgeon
VIEW PROFILE

VASCULAR SURGERY ARTICLES

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: click here.