What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Q:
What is the diagnosis and treatment of deep vein thrombosis?

A:
To diagnose deep vein thrombosis, your doctor might suggest tests including:

  • Blood test. Almost all people who develop severe deep vein thrombosis have an elevated blood level of a substance.
  • Ultrasound. A wandlike device (transducer) placed over the part of your body where there’s a clot sends sound waves into the area.
  • Venography. A dye is injected into a large vein in your foot or ankle. An X-ray creates an image of the veins in your legs and feet, to look for clots.
  • CT or MRI scans. Either can provide visual images of your veins and might show if you have a clot.

Deep vein thrombosis treatment options include:

  • Blood thinners. These drugs decrease your blood’s ability to clot. They don’t break up existing blood clots, but they can prevent clots from getting bigger and reduce your risk of developing more clots.
  • Clot busters. If you have a more serious type of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, or if other medications aren’t working, your doctor might prescribe clot busters or thrombolytics.
  • Filters. If you can’t take medicines to thin your blood, you might have a filter inserted into a large vein in your abdomen. A vena cava filter prevents clots that break loose from lodging in your lungs.
  • Compression stockings. To help prevent swelling associated with deep vein thrombosis, these are worn on your legs from your feet to about the level of your knees.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.