A DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Only about half of the people with this condition experience symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include swelling of the leg and pain or tenderness in the leg. DVT is also known as venous thrombosis.

What Is DVT?

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a vein forms 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. It is estimated that 1 out of every 1,000 Americans develops deep vein thrombosis each year.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Many conditions can increase your risk for DVT. Although some of these conditions alone can increase your risk, your chances for developing the condition increases further when several risk factors are combined.
(Click DVT Risk Factors for more information.)

Symptoms of 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 of DVT, 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 DVT 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 hurts or is swollen
  • Red or discolored skin.
It is important that you see your doctor immediately if you experience any possible symptoms.
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