A DVT is a blood clot that forms in a deep leg vein. Veins are blood vessels that take blood towards the heart.
Post Operative Care
What is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?
What are the symptoms of a deep vein
A DVT most commonly develops in a deep vein below the knee in the calf. Typical DVT symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness of the calf.
- Swelling of the calf.
- Colour and temperature changes of the calf. Blood that would normally go through the blocked vein is diverted to outer veins. The calf may then become warm and red.
Sometimes there are no symptoms and a DVT is only diagnosed if a complication occurs, such as a pulmonary embolus (see below).
Do I need any tests?
Sometimes it is difficult for a doctor to be sure of the diagnosis from just your symptoms, as there are other causes of a painful and swollen calf.
If you have a suspected DVT, you will normally be advised to have tests done urgently to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.
- A special type of ultrasound called a duplex Doppler is used to show blood flow in the leg veins and any blockage to blood flow. Ultrasound is useful because it is an easy, noninvasive test.
What are the treatments for a deep vein
If you have a DVT, you will usually need an anticoagulant medicine for at least three months. However the tablets used may take a few days to start working properly, so normally you have some fast-acting injections given for the first few days until the tablets are working properly. A serious embolus is rare if you start anticoagulation treatment early after a DVT.