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Deep Vein Thrombosis

Summary

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. If the vein swells, the condition is called thrombophlebitis. A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and cause a serious problem in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.

Sitting still for a long time can make you more likely to get a DVT. Some medicines and disorders that increase your risk for blood clots can also lead to DVTs. Common symptoms are

  • Warmth and tenderness over the vein
  • Pain or swelling in the part of the body affected
  • Skin redness

Treatment includes medicines to ease pain and inflammation, break up clots and keep new clots from forming. Keeping the affected area raised and applying moist heat can also help. If you are taking a long car or plane trip, take a break, walk or stretch your legs and drink plenty of liquids.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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