Deep Vein Thrombosis Program at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital
19829 N. 27th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
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» Request a referral to a John C. Lincoln DVT specialist in DVT symptoms
When symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) present themselves, it's clear that one has a problem requiring medical care. DVT symptoms can be extremely painful and easy to see. They are almost always concentrated in one leg — the site of a deep-vein blood clot.
Classic DVT symptoms include:
- Leg pain, including tenderness to the touch, that may worsen when standing or walking
- Swelling of the affected leg
- Skin discoloration and
- Warmth and redness of the skin
DVT symptoms can be progressive. Typically, a patient suffering from symptoms will begin to experience pain in one leg. Over the course of a few days, that leg may begin to swell or appear discolored. In time, the swelling and pain become so significant that the patient will seek treatment for DVT in a hospital emergency department or at a physician's office.
While these symptoms can be quite painful, it's important to remember that they are not apparent in nearly half of all DVT cases. In fact, the condition can go undetected for some time because deep-vein blood clots in legs can be too small to trigger obvious symptoms.
Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis and "Economy Class Syndrome"
A long period of immobility — brought on by a long-haul airplane flight, extended road trip or a prolonged hospital stay — has been linked with symptoms of deep vein thrombosisoutlined above. Sitting uncomfortably on an airplane or in a cramped car for several hours can lead to slowed blood flow and pooling of blood in the lower leg.
The limited legroom common to "economy" rows of planes has given DVT the nickname "economy class syndrome." Yet, it is yet to be proven whether travel-related symptoms of deep vein thrombosis are brought on by immobility or common DVT risk factors.
DVT Risk Factors
You should see your physician if you experience symptoms of deep vein thrombosis and you're linked to the following risk factors of DVT:
- A personal history or family history of having a blood clot
- Thrombophilia: An inherited condition that makes your blood clot too easily
- Medical conditions including heart disease, lung disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease
- Circulation problems or heart failure
- Recent surgery or an injury, especially to your hips or knees
Women with increased estrogen can be at risk of developing DVT. Estrogen produces chemicals that increase blood's ability to clot. Therefore, women can be at a higher risk of DVT when:
- Taking a contraceptive pill that contains estrogen;
- Undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involving estrogen; or
- Pregnant (and after six weeks of giving birth).
Other DVT risk factors include age (age increases risk of DVT), obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.