Deep venous thrombosis (DVT), a serious condition, occurs when a blood clot develops in one of the “deep veins” of your body. These deep veins are typically located in your legs, so you may experience leg pain, swelling or tenderness if you have DVT.
The blood clot (thrombosis) can travel from your leg, into your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. A DVT can affect your ability to breathe and put your life at risk.
A DVT is more likely to occur if you are confined to bed or if you don’t move for a long time, such as after a surgery or on a long flight. Other risk factors include hormone therapy and pregnancy. People with certain health conditions, such as heart failure or a blood clotting disorders, are also more likely to develop DVT.
At the University of Miami Health System, we provide comprehensive care and management of DVT to help control your symptoms and keep you safe. You can rely on our care to help you prevent or destroy blood clots.
History and Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and check your leg for signs of DVT, like swelling or redness.
An ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging test that uses sound waves to create images of the blood flow in your legs. A clot may appear on an ultrasound.
For this type of X-ray, a dye is injected into the veins of your leg. The dye shows up on X-rays, helping your physician see how your blood flows.
Some medicines, including blood thinners and thrombolytics, can help prevent your DVT from growing or even make it shrink. However, if you have a large DVT or can’t take blood thinners, your doctor may also recommend an inferior vena cava, or IVC, filter.
Your inferior vena cava is the large vein that runs from your legs to your lungs. An IVC filter is a special device that sits in the vena cava and can catch any large blood clots that may travel up from your legs, preventing a pulmonary embolism.
To place a vena cava filter, a vascular surgeon or interventional radiologist will enter a vein in your neck or groin. They will use X-ray guidance to insert a small tube (catheter) through the incision and into your vena cava. Once the catheter is in place, your doctor can insert the vena cava filter, which expands to fit in the vein. You may have a permanent IVC filter or a temporary filter that can be removed during a second procedure when your risk for pulmonary embolism has passed.
Once the filter is in place, your doctor removes the catheter and places pressure on the incision, though you won’t need stitches. You will be able to go home the same day as your procedure and return to normal activities.
Why Choose UHealth?
Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons. Our specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
Questions? We're here to help.
Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.