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Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is an unfortunately common condition. It can affect over half a million individuals per year in the United States.

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What is DVT?

What it is is blood clot forming in one of the deep veins of the lower or upper extremities.

The main concern with deep vein thrombosis, if untreated, is that some of the clot can break lose and can travel to the lungs where it can be lethal at times unless promptly treated.

Common Signs and Symptoms of DVT

The most common sign and symptom of DVT are swelling and pain, and it typically involves the lower extremity.

Some patients, if they do present with pulmonary embolization, can also present with shortness of breath if the clot has already gone to their lungs.

If someone presents with those symptoms, the first line is to do an ultrasound to make the diagnosis.

And if the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis is made, then unless they have any contraindications, patient will be started on a blood thinner to prevent pulmonary embolization or the clot from becoming more extensive.

About Heart and Vascular Institute

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute ranks among the best in the United States for complete cardiovascular care. U.S. News & World Report lists UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the top hospitals nationally for cardiology and heart surgery. We treat all manners of heart and vein conditions, from the common to the most complex. We are creating new medical devices and cutting-edge treatments that may not be available at other hospitals. We also offer screenings, free clinics, and education events in the community.