Diagnosing and Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis
One of the most serious health problems that can develop when a blood clot is formed in a deep vein is known as DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. This condition affects the veins in your legs – primarily the lower leg or the thighs and requires a venogram along with an intervention such as angioplasty or stent placement.
Diagnosis and Treatment Solutions
Because only about half of DVT sufferers experience any kind of symptom, regular checkups are recommended for the problem to be diagnosed before it gets too serious. The symptoms of the condition can include swelling and cramping affecting your leg, foot, ankle or calf, severe pain felt in your ankle or foot area, or unusual sensations felt on part of the skin. Your skin could feel warmer in some specific points, or it could change its coloring to shades of white, red, or blue.
Before treatment can begin, a series of steps will be necessary following a DVT diagnosis:
- The first step before treatment is the use of pharmacologic management. MIVA Medical specialists will recommend a medication plan that will have the role of thinning the blood to prevent further clotting.
- The use of a venogram is especially important. Here, dye will be injected with the help of ultrasound guidance to create a clear map of the veins in your leg. X-ray technology will be used to build the map and determine the functionality of your veins.
- Finally, a path is determined and then a hollow needle and a wire will be driven into the vein using ultrasound and X-ray guidance. This step will be followed by one of several interventions, such as angioplasty, stent placement, embolization, or thrombolysis.
The Importance of Using a Venogram with Intervention
The use of a venogram allows our experts to determine whether a certain path of access needs to be used over any other to get to the affected area. X-ray guidance makes it possible to track the layout of all the veins, and then one of a series of interventions will be used to treat DVT as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Angioplasty uses specialized, elongated balloons that are inflated inside the veins to open any narrow pathways. Through stent placement, metal scaffolds are placed in the vein to prevent it from closing. Non-functional veins can be shut down with the use of embolization. Finally, thrombolysis can be utilized for treating larger clots which are common with deep vein thrombosis. The procedure involves a special catheter that can be temporarily placed within the clot to dissolve it using medication. Additionally, the success of the treatment and the integrity of the veins can be checked using IVUS (intravascular ultrasound).
In cases when thrombolysis is necessary, you may have a 24-hour ICU stay period for the procedure at a local hospital.
We can provide you with the option of having all the necessary procedures done at our special clinic at MIVA Medical. Moderate sedation might be required, and although the procedures are only minimally invasive, you could be required to avoid any strain or heavy lifting in the following 5 days.