What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition affecting millions of Americans annually and can have significant adverse effects on your health.

DVT occurs when blood clots form within the deep veins, typically found within the leg muscles. These deep veins are surrounded by leg muscles and are located downstream from a large central vein in the abdomen responsible for returning blood flow to the heart and lungs for oxygenation. The direct path from the legs to the heart and lungs makes DVT particularly risky, as it can impact both leg symptoms and critical heart and lung functions.


Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis

DVT can arise from various medical and physical factors, including:

Blood Flow Stagnation (stasis)

Trauma to the Veins

Increased Blood Thickness (hypercoagulable state)

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Symptoms of blood clots in the legs range from asymptomatic to severe. If the clot is on the smaller side, you may not feel anything and often these clots are found during a medical test for another issue.

With larger clots, you have leg swelling, pain, and discoloration. The most concerning complication of DVT is pulmonary embolism (PE), where a clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, causing chest pain and/or shortness of breath. Large PEs can restrict blood flow to the heart and require emergency treatment to prevent death.

Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Treatment by the team at Fox Valley Surgical Specialists typically involves medication to thin the blood and prevent clots from growing any further. This can often be all the treatment required with smaller clots. In cases of extensive DVT or severe symptoms, additional treatments may be necessary.

These can include physically breaking and suctioning out clots or dripping lysing medications into the veins to dissolve the clots. Often, a combination of techniques is needed to achieve effective results.

Your Experienced Vascular Team

Dr. Robert Ballard

Robert Ballard, MD

Dr. Alexander Tretinyak
Alexander Tretinyak, MD
Sarah Wilson, MD
Sarah Wilson, MD
Dr. Jason Le
Jason Le, MD
Ariel Stilp
Ariel Stilp, APNP