Thrombosis is the creation of the clots in blood that can partially or completely clog the blood vessel. Thrombosis in the inflamed surface vein is causing thrombophlebitis. If the blood clot is created in the deeper vein, the result is deep vein thrombosis. Of the many possible causes, the main cause of immovability. Although this condition usually occurs in the legs, it can occur everywhere, especially in the lower part of the abdominal cavity.
The area that is “served” by the vein swells and hurts because the normal blood flow is disturbed, and the pressure in veins and capillaries increases. Because of this, the edema (swelling) is formed in the leg. If the thrombosis does not appear in the leg, there may be no symptoms until the pieces of the clot are separated and enter the bloodstream where they create embolism.
Deep vein thrombosis is rather rare, and in the average year affects one in 1700 people. Especially sensitive are elderly and overweight people, people with some type of blood disorders (such as policythemia) and women who are taking estrogens or in contraceptive pills or as post-menopausal therapy. There is a danger of deep vein thrombosis if a person, due to some other illness, does not move, because the blood flow is slowed down.
Deep vein thrombosis can cause dangerous complications such as a pulmonary embolism that can end with death.
What to do?
If you think you have deep vein thrombosis, contact your doctor. At the examination, the doctor will focus on your heart, lung, and blood circulation. Phlebography is required to determine the site of the thrombosis in the leg. In certain cases, special searches with ultrasound and radioactive fibrinogen are performed, which allow the physician to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the exact location and size of the thrombus.
Self-help: to prevent the formation of blood clots in deep veins, be careful not to gain some weight and you need to move sufficiently. This illness has become less common since doctors started suggesting walking (or any type of movement) shortly after surgery or giving birth. Women over the age of 35 who take birth control pills should ask the doctor to give them some other contraceptive; the risk of thrombosis, which may arise from contraceptive pills, is increasing with age. Stop smoking.
Professional help: if you are preparing for an operation and the doctor thinks you are prone to deep vein thrombosis, you will be given an anticoagulant injection before and after surgery. If you are tied up with a bed for a long time, your doctor will advise you to swing the toe muscles, swing your toes, and bend ankles to increase your blood circulation. The feet of immobile persons are lifted mechanically and placed in plastic bags that are alternately filled with air and empty; such pumping maintains blood flow.
If deep vein thrombosis has already occurred, you will get high doses of anticoagulants in combination with an analgesic, e.g. aspirin, to relieve pain. Since these agents, if not applied properly, can cause bleeding, they must be taken exactly according to the physician’s instructions (usually several weeks). Most of the blood clots are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream. Thrombolitics may be given to dissolve the clots, but such cases are rare.
Surgical removal of clots is sometimes required. While the patient is in general anesthesia, the clots are mechanically sucked during the surgery.