About Vein Thrombo-embolism
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is vein thrombo-embolism?
This is a blood clot which develops inside a deep vein inside the body. It is also known as deep vein thrombosis or venous thrombosis. They commonly occur in the leg in a large vein which runs through the thigh and calf muscles. Vein thrombo-embolism can lead to pain and complications such as pulmonary embolism which is a serious condition that occurs when the blood clot enters the bloodstream and blocks off circulation to the lungs. When pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis occur together they are referred to as venous thrombo-embolism.
Causes of thrombo-embolism
Vein thrombo-embolism is caused by blood clots. Blood clots form when there is a change in blood flow in the veins. The blood clots can form in the arteries or veins in the limbs, lungs, kidneys heart or brain and travel from one point to another. They can lead to serious complications such as:
- Heart attack
- Organ damage
- Use of estrogen or birth control pills
- Autoimmune disorders such as lupus
- People who have too many blood cells
- A family history of blood clots
- Multiple traumas
- Surgeries to the hip, pelvis or knee
- Leg fractures
- Genetic defects
- Indwelling central venous lines
- A history of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
- Being inactive for long periods such as after surgery
- Being pregnant
- Blood vessel damage
- Hormone replacement therapy
- In some cases, vein thrombo-embolism is asymptomatic. If symptoms occur they include:
- Pain in the leg usually in the calf area
- Swelling and tenderness in the calf muscle
- A heavy dull ache in the affected area
- The skin appears red in the affected area
- Warm skin in the affected area
- Pain that worsens when the leg is bent towards the knee
- Chest pain that worsens when you inhale
- Breathlessness that may occur suddenly or gradually
- Sudden collapse
If you experience any of the symptoms that may indicate vein thrombo-embolism you should seek medical attention immediately.
- D-dimer test: This is a special blood test which detects pieces of blood clots that are loose in your bloodstream. If the number of fragments found is high it more likely that there is a blood clot in your vein
- Ultrasound scan: This test is used to detect any blood clots that may be present in your veins. A Doppler ultrasound may also be done as it shows how fast the blood is flowing. If blood flow is blocked or slow it may be due to a blood clot.
- Venogram: This test may be used if the ultrasound and D-dimer test results are inconclusive. A contrast dye is injected into your vein and highlights any gaps in the blood vessels where a blood clot is blocking blood flow.
Vein thrombo-embolism is usually treated by anticoagulant medications. These reduce the ability of the blood to clot and stop any existing clots from getting bigger.
Compression stocking may also be prescribed to improve symptoms and prevent complications.
- Stop smoking
- Lifestyle changes that include eating healthy balanced diet and regular exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight and riding excess weight if obese.
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