Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment
There are three main concerns with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If the blood clot breaks loose from its position in a deep vein and travels to the heart and lungs, it can result in sudden death. Thus, it is critical that all three of the following are addressed with a patient’s DVT treatment plan:
- Keep the clot from breaking loose
- Stop its growth
- Prevent future clots
More About DVTs & When to Seek Treatment
You may have heard your doctor describe your DVT as either acute or chronic. This generally refers to whether the blood clot is new (acute DVT) – or whether it’s been there for at least 1-2 months (chronic DVT). In either case, it is critical that you immediately seek a medical specialist’s advice about your treatment options.
At Florida Endovascular and Interventional in South Florida, our interventional radiologists regularly diagnose and treat patients with DVT. The two most common tests used to confirm or rule out a DVT are D-dimer blood tests and duplex ultrasounds. These tests may be repeated to identify how quickly the DVT is growing, or whether new clots have formed. An MRI may also be recommended as a follow-up.
Your DVT treatment will depend on the size and location of the blood clot, the severity of your symptoms (if any), and any other additional risk factors.
A Word on Blood Thinners
Anticoagulant medications are popularly known as blood thinners. The name “anticoagulants” is more accurate, however, as this class of drugs work by preventing coagulation, or clotting. These medications help prevent an existing DVT from getting larger and can help prevent future blood clots. Blood thinners don’t actually thin the blood.
Most patients who are prone to developing blood clots can successfully treat and manage their condition with the use of anticoagulants. These medications can be begun as soon as a patient receives a DVT diagnosis.
Anticoagulants are commonly taken in pill form, but also may be administered by injection or IV when needed. Not all patients, however, are good candidates for anticoagulants. Patients with poorly controlled hypertension or stomach ulcers may be at risk of internal bleeding with long-term use of blood thinners.
Your DVT Treatment Options
The vascular experts at Florida Endovascular and Interventional use advanced, minimally invasive techniques to successfully treat patients with even the most complex DVT cases.
In severe cases, medication to break up and dissolve existing blood clots (thrombolytics) may be recommended. These clot-busting drugs are administered either by IV or via a catheter threaded through blood vessels to the site of the clot.
An IVC filter is a tiny device designed to trap blood clots that have broken free before the clot can travel to the heart and lungs, which is a life-threatening situation.
The filter is placed in a large vein in your abdomen called the inferior vena cava (IVC), which carries blood back to the heart.
An IVC filter may be recommended if you are not a good candidate for anticoagulant medication.
A venous thrombectomy – or endovascular thrombectomy – describes a minimally invasive procedure to remove a blood clot. It is performed using a tiny catheter threaded to the site of the DVT, where the clot is broken up using a special instrument or with the assistance of saline jets or ultrasound waves. The clot may also be sucked out with a suction device delivered through the catheter.
An endovascular thrombectomy may be used to treat mesenteric ischemia, when a blood clot travels to the small intestine.
An additional lifestyle therapy that can help promote healthy blood flow and prevent the development of blood clots include the daily use of compression stockings. These garments are designed to squeeze your legs, aiding the upward movement of blood from your legs to your heart. This can also help prevent swelling associated with DVTs and other circulatory disorders affecting the legs.
DVT Treatment in South Florida
If you or your doctor suspects you may have a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or a blood clot in veins deep inside your body, we can help. The interventional radiologists at Florida Endovascular and Interventional are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of simple to complex DVTs.
Call us at (786) 534-2555 to schedule your appointment, or request an appointment now. We have four South Florida locations, so there is bound to be a Florida Endovascular and Interventional office near you.