Deep Vein Thrombosis
An estimated 1 out of every 1,000 Americans develops deep vein thrombosis each year. This is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Deep vein thrombosis in the thigh is more serious than in the lower leg, because blood clots in the thigh are more likely to travel to the lungs, which can lead to serious complications.
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most occur in the leg or hip veins. However, a deep vein thrombosis also can occur in other parts of the body. Although blood clots are nature's way of trying to prevent bleeding, they can become dangerous when precautions are not taken.
A blood clot that develops in a vein in the thigh is usually more serious than one that develops in a vein in the lower leg. Approximately 1 out of every 1,000 Americans develops this condition each year.
Many conditions can increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis. Although some of these conditions alone can increase your risk, your chances for developing DVT increases further when several risk factors are combined.
(Click DVT Risk Factors for more information.)
DVT symptoms vary, depending on the amount of blood flow that is blocked in the legs by blood clots. Large clots may cause more noticeable symptoms, while smaller clots may cause fewer symptoms or no symptoms at all. In fact, only about half of the people with deep vein thrombosis have symptoms.
Common symptoms may include:
- Swelling of the leg
- Pain or tenderness in the leg (the pain is usually in one leg and may only be present when standing or walking)
- Feeling of increased warmth in the area of the leg that is swollen or hurts
- Red or discolored skin.
It is important that you see your healthcare provider right away if you experience any possible symptoms.
(Click DVT Symptoms for more information.)