Deep Vein Thrombosis Specialist

CardioVascular Institute of South Texas

Cardiologists located in Helotes, TX

Pain, redness, or swelling in your leg are all signs of a potentially life-threatening condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that can turn into a pulmonary embolism (PE). To be screened for DVT, see the cardiovascular specialists at the CardioVascular Institute of South Texas in Helotes, Texas. Led by Tzy-Shiuan Kuo, MD, and Imam Tjahja, MD, the team offers efficient testing and treatment to reduce the risks associated with DVT and PE. Schedule a visit by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Q & A

What is deep vein thrombosis?

DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms within one of the deep veins of your body. This happens most often in the veins of your pelvis, calves, or thighs, but it can happen in any vein throughout your body.

What is a pulmonary embolism?

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that breaks off and travels through your veins to your lungs. If this complication occurs, it can block blood flow from reaching your heart and lungs. This is a serious medical emergency and requires immediate medical care to prevent death.

What causes deep vein thrombosis?

DVT occurs when a vein is damaged or the blood flow within a vein slows down or stops. This can occur for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Trauma to your lower body
  • Having surgery that involves your hips or legs
  • Having some type of vein disease, such as varicose veins
  • Using medications that cause blood to thicken or clot more easily, such as birth control pills or hormone therapy
  • Inherited blood clotting disorders

Risk factors for developing DVT have been identified, and include:

  • Family or personal history of DVT or PE
  • Having certain types of malignant cancers
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Being overweight or obese

DVT can also develop after a long car trip or plane ride, so it’s best to wear compression stockings and move your legs regularly during extended trips. The team may provide additional recommendations for you if you’re at risk of developing DVT.

How is deep vein thrombosis diagnosed?

The team performs the following diagnostic tests to screen for DVT:

  • Doppler ultrasound
  • MRI scan
  • Venography

These tests are performed either in-office or at a local imaging facility. They help your doctors determine if you have a blood clot or other blockage in your veins causing DVT. These tests also help locate the exact location of the blood clot for appropriate treatment.

How is deep vein thrombosis treated?

The goals of DVT treatment are to prevent the clot from getting bigger and breaking off and to stop the formation of additional clots. The first treatment is often a prescription medication to thin your blood, called an anticoagulant. Other medications called thrombolytics can be injected directly into the clot to break it up if there is a high chance of PE.

If medications aren’t effective for you, the team may recommend surgery to place a filter in your veins that can trap blood clots before they reach your lungs.

Find out your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism by scheduling a visit at CardioVascular Institute of South Texas online or by phone today.