Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is the formation of blood clots in the veins of the leg located deep within the muscles. This is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that first presents with a painful swollen and often warm leg that is difficult to bear weight on. This must be seen and assessed urgently. Clots that form within the veins of the thigh and pelvis can migrate to the heart and lungs (a condition known as pulmonary embolism) with fatal consequences in some people. In the long term, patients can develop a painful swollen limb that may ulcerate frequently – a debilitating condition referred to as the post-thrombotic syndrome.
DVT is more likely to occur in people with pre-existing varicose veins, an underlying clotting disorder (thrombophilia), after major operations on the hip and pelvis, women on some types of the contraceptive pill and frequent flyers, amongst others. The risk of DVT with multiple short haul flights is similar to a long-haul flight of over 6 hours. It can also occur up to a week after the last flight.
Once DVT occurs, the early use of blood thinning medication (anti-coagulation) is essential to ensure complications do not develop. Sometimes this may include a minimally invasive procedure to mechanically remove or dissolve the clot itself (thrombectomy and thrombolysis).
At the Harley Street Heart and Vascular Centre, we can provide the full range of assessments and treatments needed for DVT and pulmonary embolism including an emergency out of hours DVT service via the Gleneagles Hospital Accident and Emergency department.
For a consultation about reducing your risk of deep vein thrombosis and vein disorders, contact us.
If you know or suspect you may have had a deep vein thrombosis, or have a family history of deep vein thrombosis, contact us or after hours contact the Gleneagles Hospital Singapore Accident and Emergency department on 6470 5688 and ask for a Harley Street Heart and Vascular Centre physician.