What is it?

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a condition in which a thrombus, or a blot clot, forms in the deep veins of the body, usually the legs. The cause of DVT is any interference to normal blood flow or clotting such as veins damage from a surgery, trauma or inflammation. There are risk factors for having DVT such as older age, immobility- for example after having a major surgery or suffering from a trauma, pregnancy, birth control pills or hormonal replacement therapy, obesity, smoking, malignancy, heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease and family history. Blood clots that form in the deep vein can travel through the bloodstream, break down and get stuck in the lungs. This situation is a medical emergency called pulmonary embolism. When a pulmonary embolism occurs after evidence of a DVT it is called venous thromboembolism (VTE).

222 Alikes with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Postpartum deep phlebothrombosis

Signs & symptoms

DVT may be asymptomatic or may present with the following symptoms- swelling of the leg (typically unilateral swelling), pain in the leg, red or other discoloration and feeling of warmth in the affected leg. Pulmonary embolism (PE) symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain that worsens when coughing or lying down, lightheadedness, rapid pulse and breathing and coughing up blood.


DVT is diagnosed based on symptoms and physical examination. Other tests can be performed such as duplex ultrasound to image the veins, D-dimer blood test- normal levels of this protein, produced by blood clots, can help rule out PE. MRI or Venography can also be used for diagnosis.


Treatment for DVT may include anticoagulants such as Heparin, to prevent the clots to get bigger and reduce the risk of new clots formation. Some are given orally, some intravenously and some can be given subcutaneously. Usually, the patient must continue taking anticoagulants for several months after the event. Thrombolytic medication can also be administered, usually for more severe blood clots. In case the patient cannot take these medications, a filter can be inserted to the Vena cava which is the large vein in the abdomen to prevent the clots breaking loose. Compression stockings are also recommended to reduce blood pooling in the legs.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free