Ask an Inova Expert – Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)


Calvin Neithhamer, MD


Q:

Why is it so important to treat deep vein thrombosis as soon as possible?

A:

Once DVT has been diagnosed, the goal is to address the immediate, life-threatening concern of blood clots breaking free from the legs and traveling to the lungs. A blood clot in the lung is known as a pulmonary embolism, a dangerous condition that can cause pulmonary embolisms can cause shortness of breath, chest pain and even sudden death.

Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, are nearly always the first line of treatment for DVT. Rarely are the symptoms of DVT so severe that more aggressive treatment is needed. For patients who require other treatment options, an IVC filter can be inserted by an endovascular specialist to catch DVT clots that may travel toward the lungs from the leg or pelvis.


- Featuring Calvin Neithhamer, MD