DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS (DVT)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) affects nearly 2 million men and women each year, and nearly 300,000 people will die from DVT annually. It is a life-threatening condition that arises when a vein deep in the body is obstructed by a blood clot. DVT is ordinarily found in the leg, usually in the calf muscle, but can appear anywhere in the body. Complications from DVT can be fatal and the condition should be taken seriously.
Deep vein thrombosis can be divided into two phases – acute or chronic.
Acute deep vein thrombosis carries the risk of migrating to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), so the mainstay of treatment is anticoagulation (blood thinners). In some cases where acute DVT occurs in the major veins (iliac veins, vena cava) a treatment called catheter-directed thrombolysis (clot busters) may be used to reopen them and re-establish blood flow.
Chronic Deep Vein Thrombosis -DVT in the chronic phase causes obstruction of flow from the legs to the heart-this can result in post-thrombotic syndrome. Chronically occluded deep veins causing severe post-thrombotic syndrome can be treated with modern-day recanalization techniques. Recanalization involves reestablishing a channel within the blocked vein using catheters and wires, stretching the vein with balloons (angioplasty), and placing stents to maintain the vein open.