Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Reprinted from “Inside Radiology”, A Quarterly Review from Mid-South Imaging & Therapeutics, P.A., Fall 2000

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition.  There are two sets of veins in the legs.  The superficial veins which form varicose veins are not the primary vein system.   It is the deep venous system that carries the majority of the lower extremity blood return.  Thrombosis occurs when the blood stops flowing.  In the superficial veins this is called superficial thrombophlebitis and can be painful but always resolves over time. 

Deep venous thrombosis is a much more serious problem.  Acutely this can be a significant problem with pain and swelling and with large clots the worry for pulmonary embolization (PE) is high without treatment.  Pulmonary embolization (PE) is when the blood clots from the lower extremities flow to the lung arteries.  This blocks the lung arteries and could put the patient at mortal peril. 

Chronic deep vein thrombosis results after the acute episode.  If the clot is left untreated and remains in the leg intermittent pain and swelling can occur but the risk of PE is significantly lower.  However chronic deep venous thrombosis often results in permanent swelling of the limb if left untreated. DVT treatments include outpatient blood clot removal for acute DVT, venous stenting to improve blood flow in chronic swelling, IVC filters for the protection against pulmonary embolism, and the removal of those filters.  Long term filter implantation is no longer recommended and the majority of implanted filters need to be removed if possible. 

The doctors at Zenith Health and Aesthetics have significant experience in the removal of IVC filters.