DVT Treatment


Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot or thrombus in a deep vein. They are most common in the leg. But they may develop any part of the body. Part of the clot, called an embolus, can break off and travel to the lungs (PE). This can cut off the flow of blood to all or part of the lung. PE is an emergency and may cause death.

There are several risk factors such as obesity, surgery, immobility, birth control pills, a family history of blood clots, varicose veins and cancer.

May-Thurner syndrome (MTS),also known as the iliac vein compression syndrome, is a condition in which compression of the common venous outflow tract of the left lower extremity may cause discomfort, swelling, pain or blood clots (deep venous thrombosis) in the iliofemoral veins.

Most people with DVT develop symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness . Sometime DVT is symptomless. The two most common complications of a blood clot are chronic venous insufficiency and post-thrombotic syndrome(PTS).

  • Duplex ultrasound. This painless procedure ,observe blood flow in veins. Duplex ultrasound is the most common test for DVT.
  • Lab work. Blood work may be done to look for blood clotting and other problems.

Specific treatment will be determined by Vascular Interventional Radiologist(IR) :

  • How old you are
  • Your overall health and medical history
  • How sick you are
  • The location of the clot
  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies.
  • How long the condition is expected to last
  • Your opinion or preference

The goal of treatments is are to prevent the clot from getting larger, to prevent a blood clot from travelling to the lungs (PE), to decrease the chance of another blood clot forming and to prevent development of PTS.

  • Blood thinners (anticoagulant medicines).
  • Walking. Getting up and moving as soon as possible after diagnosis.
  • Elastic or compression stockings, if required.
  • Clot busters (fibrinolytics or thrombolytics). These medicines are used to break up clots and can be given directly into the clot by your Interventional Radiology specialist using a minimally invasive endovascular therapy called Catheter Directed Thrombolysis (CDT). This is typically a day case, and has been shown to help symptoms and complications of DVT in carefully evaluated patients.
  • Mechanical Clot suction. These devices are small (less than width of a pen) devices that can be placed directly into the vein but an IR specialist where the clot is and then the clot removed, allowing normal blood flow to pass again.
  • Inferior vena cava filter. In some cases, a filter is placed in the vena cava (the large vein which returns blood from the body to the heart). This filter prevents clots from reaching the heart and lungs.
  • Above procedures /treatments are always better than surgical thrombectomy .