Deep Vein Thrombosis

What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

DVT is a blood clot that develops in a deep vein, usually in the leg. However, you can develop DVTs in other parts of your body, including your upper extremities.

When left undiagnosed, the blood clot can break free from the vein, blocking blood flow. A DVT in the leg can lead to a pulmonary embolism, blocking the flow of blood to your lungs. A pulmonary embolism is life-threatening and requires emergency medical care.

Early diagnosis and treatment reduce your risk of developing severe health problems from a DVT.

What are the symptoms of a DVT?

Pain and swelling in the affected area are the most common symptoms of a DVT. You might also notice a change in skin color, and the DVT site could feel warm to the touch.

However, DVTs can develop without causing any noticeable symptoms.

Though not related to blood clots in the veins, Dr. Balraj also specializes in diagnosing and treating thoracic outlet syndrome. This condition develops from compression of the blood vessels or nerves near your collarbone.

If you have thoracic outlet syndrome, you can experience tingling or numbness in your hands and fingers or pain in your arm, shoulder, or hand. This condition often goes undiagnosed and usually requires surgical resection of the cervical (floating) or first rib.

Dr. Balraj is one of only a few surgeons in the valley that offers surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

How is a DVT diagnosed?

When you come in with concerns about a DVT or pain in your upper or lower extremities, Dr. Balraj conducts a thorough evaluation to determine the correct diagnosis.

To diagnose a DVT, he’ll likely order imaging procedures of your veins to look for blood clots. These imaging procedures include Doppler ultrasound, venography, and MRI.

Dr. Balraj can perform other diagnostic tests if he suspects that your symptoms are caused by thoracic outlet syndrome.

What treatments are available for a DVT?

Once Dr. Balraj confirms DVT, he develops a treatment to prevent further growth of the blood clot. The treatment should also stop the blood clot from breaking free and reduce your risk of developing more blood clots.

Your DVT treatment plan can include:

  • Blood thinners
  • Compression stockings
  • Clot-busting medication
  • Placement of a filter in your veins

Early diagnosis and treatment with blood thinners are essential. But when surgery is needed, Dr. Balraj provides patient care in a hospital.

To discuss the available treatments for your DVT, call the Vascular Institute of Arizona today or schedule a consultation using the online booking tool.