Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment Utah
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) develops when a blood clot forms in at least one deep veins within the body, typically, in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis may cause some leg swelling or pain, however a DVT may develop without any signs or symptoms.
Symptoms of DVT
Deep vein thrombosis symptoms may include the following:
- Edema (swelling) in the leg that is affected. Rarely, edema may occur in both legs.
- Pain in the leg. The pain frequently begins in the calf area of the leg and may feel sore or like the leg is cramping.
- Reasons to Always Seek Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment Utah(DVT)
- Prevent a blood clot from growing
- Prevent a blood clot from breaking off and traveling to the lung or any other organ
- Avoid chronic complications, including swelling and leg pain
- Preventive measure to keep blood clots from recurring
Time to Visit the Doctor
If you develop symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, call your doctor for guidance. When you see your doctor be sure to bring along a list of your symptoms, have a list of any questions you want answered, all the medications you are currently taking, write down any surgeries, falls or events where you injured yourself in the past three months, and bring a pad of paper and a pen to take notes, so you do not forget anything the doctor said during your appointment.
If you develop symptoms or signs of a pulmonary embolism (a life threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis) seek medical attention right away.
What is a Pulmonary Embolism
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that forms in a vein, travels through your bloodstream, and lodges in your lungs. A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency because a large embolism, or sometimes many repeated smaller ones, can be fatal in a short time.
Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism
The most prominent and often experienced symptom of a pulmonary embolism (PE) is shortness of breath. Which may come on gradually or suddenly. If you experience sudden shortness of breath, you need to seek medical attention right away.
Other symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:
- Clammy skin that may appear bluish
- Coughing / spitting up blood or a pink foamy mucus
- Chest pain or discomfort that gets worse when you cough or take a deep breath
- Irregular heartbeat / weak pulse
Medications to Prevent a Pulmonary Embolism
Deep vein thrombosis medications are designed to prevent the blood clot from getting larger, as well as preventing the blood clot from breaking away and causing a pulmonary embolism. Next, the goal is to reduce your chances of deep vein thrombosis occurring again.
Deep vein thrombosis treatment Utah options include:
Blood Thinners – Medications used to treat deep vein thrombosis include anticoagulants, sometimes referred to as blood thinners. These medications decrease your blood’s capability to clot. They do not break down any existing clots you may have. However, these medication can help prevent a blood clot from becoming larger and decrease your risk of developing more blood clots. Generally, the first step is to give you and injection first be given a shot or infusion of the blood thinner heparin for a couple days. After starting the heparin injections, your treatment plan may include another injectable blood thinner, such as fondaparinux (Arixtra), enoxaparin (Lovenox) or dalteparin (Fragmin). Some blood thinners can be given in pill form, such as rivaroxaban (Xarelto) or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). You may be required to take blood thinners for three months or possibly longer. As with any prescribed medication you must take it as prescribed by your physician. Blood thinning medications may have severe side effects if you take too little or too much. Periodic blood tests to determine how long it takes your blood to clot are also part of the treatment plan. It is Important to note that pregnant women should not take certain blood-thinning medications.
Clot busters – Are used if your deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism is more severe than usual, or if other prescription medications are not working, your physician may prescribe a different medication.
Thrombolytics – these types of medication, are given intravenously or through a catheter that is placed directly into a clot. Thrombolytics may cause severe bleeding and are normally only used in a life-threatening situation. In order to receive this type of treatment you would be admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital for close monitoring.
Alternative Treatment Options
Filters – If you cannot take the medications or they do not work, a filter may have to be inserted into the Inferior vena cava (a large vein located in your abdomen.) The filter prevents blood clots that broken loose from becoming lodged in your lungs and prevents a pulmonary embolism. The filter catches any clots before they can travel to your lungs. The filter does not prevent new clots from forming.
Compression stockings – Help to prevent swelling related to deep vein thrombosis. You wear the stockings (like you would a pair of tube socks) they come up to the knee and provide pressure to keep the blood circulating better to help prevent the blood in your legs from pooling and clotting. The stockings help reduce the chance of post-phlebitic syndrome.
Graduated Compression Stockings – Graduated compression stockings can help reduce leg swelling caused by a blood clot. These stockings are worn on the legs from the arch of the foot to just above or below the knee, tight at the ankle and become looser as they go up the leg. The pressure keeps blood from pooling and clotting.
The Three Types of Graduated Compression Stocking:
- Support pantyhose
- Compression hose you can by over the counter in pharmacies and medical supply stores (provide slightly more compression than a control pantyhose)
- A prescription strength compression hose (you will need to be fitted for this type of hose by a trained individual) these provide the offer the maximum amount of pressure. Ask your doctor how long and often you should wear them.