Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling but also can occur with no symptoms.
You can get DVT if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. A blood clot in your legs can also happen if you don’t move for a long time, such as after you have surgery or an accident when you’re traveling a long distance, or when you’re on bed rest.
Deep vein thrombosis can be very serious because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and get stuck in your lungs, blocking blood flow . However, pulmonary embolism can occur with no evidence of DVT.
There are three main goals to DVT treatment.
DVT treatment options include:
Blood thinners. DVT is most commonly treated with anticoagulants, also called blood thinners.
Clot busters. Also called thrombolytics, these drugs might be prescribed if you have a more serious type of DVT or PE, or if other medications aren’t working.
Filters. If you can’t take medicines to thin your blood, you might have a filter inserted into a large vein — the vena cava — in your abdomen.
Compression stockings. These special knee socks reduce the chances that your blood will pool and clot.