Blood Home > DVT Symptoms

Possible signs or symptoms of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) can include swelling of the leg, pain or tenderness in the leg, increased warmth in the leg that is swollen, and red or discolored skin. Symptoms will vary depending on the amount of blood flow that is blocked in the legs by blood clots. Only about half of all people with deep vein thrombosis will have any signs or symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of DVT: An Introduction

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) signs and symptoms vary depending on the amount of blood flow that is blocked in the legs by blood clots. Large clots may cause more noticeable DVT 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 any complaints prior to diagnosis. It is important that you see your doctor immediately if you experience any possible symptoms of DVT.
 

Common DVT Symptoms

Common symptoms of DVT may include:
 
  • Swelling of the leg
 
  • Pain or tenderness in the leg (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 that hurts
 
  • Red or discolored skin.
 

Deep Vein Thrombosis Versus a Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot in a vein breaks off, travels through your bloodstream, and lodges in your lung. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition. Some people only find out that they have a DVT after a pulmonary embolism occurs.
 
The most common pulmonary embolism symptoms are:
 
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that gets worse with a deep breath, coughing, or chest movement
  • Coughing up blood.
 
General, less specific symptoms of a pulmonary embolism may occur, including:
 
  • Anxiety or feelings of dread
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating.
 
Signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism vary depending on the amount of blood flow that is blocked in the lung by clots. Large blood clots or many blood clots are considered life-threatening and may cause more severe symptoms. Smaller blood clots cause fewer symptoms or no symptoms at all.
 
It is important that you see your doctor immediately if you have any pulmonary embolism symptoms or DVT symptoms.
 
(Click Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism for more information about the signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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