Deep vein thrombosis is an extremely serious disease that may not show any noticeable symptoms for a long time. What is DVT and what are the symptoms?
What is DVT
Deep vein thrombosis, also called thrombosis, is a pathological process that occurs in the so-called the sub-fascial veins located under the fascia of the extremities and the individual muscle groups. It usually begins in the veins located in the calf muscles and gradually goes into larger veins, moving upwards to the thighs and pelvis.
When the body is healthy and no pathological processes develop in the blood vessels, the blood flows without any obstacles through the veins. However, the overlapping of certain factors can promote the formation of deep clots (thrombi) in the veins that obstruct or block blood flow completely. At first, our body will try to cope with this difficulty, because it has appropriate protective mechanisms. As the disease progresses, they stop being enough and more and more clots form.
Deep vein thrombosis – symptoms
- leg pain when walking (common: calf pain);
- swelling of the legs;
- warming of the limb (noticeable increased temperature);
- touch of the leg causes pain and a feeling of warmth;
- Payra symptom: foot pain with pressure;
- Lisker symptom: lower leg pain when tapping;
- Mayr’s symptom: calf pain under pressure;
- impression of vein hardening;
- tight skin;
- redness, bruising.
The consequences of DVT
Deep vein thrombosis often has serious consequences, so urgent diagnosis and treatment of this condition is important. It is often the basis for the development of venous thromboembolism. The free fragment of a blood clot can tear and get to the right atrium, right ventricle and further branching of the pulmonary artery with blood flow. With large embolic material, it is wedged in the atrium or ventricle and sudden death. Smaller fragments clog the pulmonary circulation vessels, resulting in pulmonary embolism.
Three co-occurring risk factors, known as so-called Virchov triads:
- slowed blood flow, which happens with prolonged immobilization or pressure on the veins,
- predominance of thrombotic factors over those inhibiting the coagulation system (fibrinolytic),
- damage to the vessel walls, e.g. during orthopedic surgery.
These factors are recognized by doctors as predisposing to the development of thrombotic disease, although there are many more elements that can affect it. Long-term immobilization is a big threat and it is not even hospitalization. People who often travel by plane, and for many hours traveling by bus or car are at risk. A long, sedentary work at the computer is also disadvantageous. All situations that force us to be in one position are a risk factor.
Thrombosis is most often affected by people over 40, although of course there are younger people. The risk also increases in obese people, as well as in pregnant women. It is also worth adding that taking oral hormonal contraceptives increases the risk of thrombosis.