There is a presence of both deep and superficial veins in the extremities (arms and legs) and in the limbs. A blood clot in the veins is a serious concern as it may lead to life impediments. This is known as deep vein thrombosis. It is a big complication when a thrombus (blood clot) in the deep vein of the leg becomes severed or travels into the pulmonary arteries through the blood stream and the heart. This condition is called pulmonary embolism which can be fatal. Risk factors leading to blood clot formation include occurrence of adjacent tissue, injury to veins or immobility. Symptoms include pain, warmth, redness, swelling and tenderness.
The diagnosis of the condition is carried out through blood tests and then confirmed via imaging tests or an ultrasound. Blood thinning medications like anticoagulants is recommended unless the patient is unable to take them (contraindicated). An inferior vena cava filter is considered in that case. Anticoagulation is known to prevent further growth of blood clots and the embolus from traveling to the lungs. The different type of anticoagulant medications to treat deep vein thrombosis includes unfractionated heparin, warfarin and directoral anticoagulatants (DOACs). For superficial blood clots warm compresses, leg compression and anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen are recommended.
Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, are the most common form of treating deep vein thrombosis. These drugs can either be injected or taken in the form of pills which ultimately decreases the blood clotting ability. The injectable medications are given through the intravenous (injection into the arm vein) way or as a shot under the skin. Blood thinners such as enoxaparin (Lovenox), fondaparinux (Arixtra) or dalteparin (Fragmin) are typically injected under the skin while Heparin is given intravenously. It usually has a short life of 60-90 minutes and that is why the anticoagulant effect of heparin will likely be eliminated 3-4 hours after the intravenous administration is finished. For immediate results through heparin, protamine sulphate will be administered at a dosage of 1 mg for every 100 units. You may also receive a blood thinner for a week, after which warfarin or dabigatran pills are started. Once warfarin has successfully thinned your blood, the injectable blood thinners are subdued.
Patients receiving anti-coagulant medications that have developed recurrent blood clots or cannot take blood thinners are recommended a surgery, which is a rare case for the treatment of large deep vein thrombosis. The surgery is usually associated with the placement of IVC (inferior vena cava) filter in order to prevent clots from lung embolization. In case you have a pulmonary embolism or a serious deep vein thrombosis or if the current medications are not working, you will receve a recommendation from your doctor to drugs which break up clots easily. These drugs are known as thrombolytics or clot busters. A catheter is directly placed into the clot or an IV line is used to break it up. This is how the drugs are given to the patient.
A person who has had a stroke is eligible to receive the treatment. Also, women who aren’t expecting are eligible for the treatment.
Children and pregnant women are precluded from receiving the treatment. Also, people with underlying manifestations of an untreated disease may receive other treatments which will clash and prove contradictory to deep vein thrombosis treatment. In that case it is advisable to not go for a surgery or medications related to DVT.
Side effects of the treatment include the risk of bleeding in the brain, major trauma due to recent significant surgery, clot formation, skin colour changes, ulcer formation, chest pain, swelling, and shortness of breath.
Moderate exercise including swimming and walking is recommended by the doctor. A return to the normal exercise routine entirely depends on your physical condition before the clotting took place, the location of it and the severity of the condition. A healthy, low-fat, nutritional and balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and fibre is extremely good for a patient’s general health. In case you are on medications for deep vein thrombosis, avoiding or limiting the amount of alcohol is necessary. Keep checking with your doctor to have assurance regarding your joint condition. Do not read books and articles, or take advices on diets that usually claim to cure deep vein thrombosis. Most people don’t benefit from these different and confusing recommendations. An unusual diet will cause more harm than good. Counseling sessions with your doctor may also help you to a great extent.
The anticoagulant intake may last for about 3 months. In case you are taking it after surgery, you need it not for a very long time. It should just last for two weeks. The length of time is generally based on the location of the blood clot, patient’s health, and the risk of pulmonary embolism.
The price of treatment ranges from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,75,000.
It is a known fact that the majority of patients have not gone through reoccurrence. However, the risk still persists. The degree of risk depends upon a lot many factors. These include underlying medical conditions, clot, and number of previous clots.
The alternative treatment method for deep vein thrombosis is ginger, which is an excellent healing spice and plays a significant role as a cure. Secondly, food items like walnuts, olive oil, bell peppers and spinach, rich in vitamin E, are beneficial. In addition, garlic clove is a known ingredient to promote blood circulation and is also one of the treatment options.