Deep vein thrombosis is condition in which a blood clot, or thrombus, forms in a deep leg vein. If the blood clot breaks loose and travels to your lungs, it can lead to a serious condition called pulmonary embolism. These blood clots may result when circulation slows down due to illness or prolonged inactivity.
Although many patients may have no symptoms, warning signs may include:
- redness, warmth, or discoloration of the legs
- calf or leg pain, tenderness, or cramping
- swelling in a leg, ankle or foot
- surface veins become more visible
- leg fatigue
An acute pulmonary embolism is an emergency situation with unique symptoms to watch for:
- rapid breathing
- shortness of breath
- coughing up blood
- chest pain
- blue color in lips and fingers
Minimally invasive treatment option: catheter-directed thrombolysis
Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to thin the blood or break up clots. Patients may also seek a second opinion from a Good Shepherd Hospital interventional radiologist. A minimally invasive radiological procedure can break up a blood clot by targeting medication to the precise area where it's needed. Know as catheter-directed thrombolysis, the treatment uses guided imaging to locate the clot. A balloon angioplasty or stent placement may also be performed to repair the vein and prevent future clots.
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