Can a DVT go away on its own?

Can DVT go away on its own?  

Being diagnosed with a blood clot can be a scary experience. While some blood clots are a normal part of your bodily function and will resolve on their own, others are more serious and can even become fatal if left untreated. If you've been diagnosed with a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), you may be wondering if your condition will resolve on its own or if medical intervention is necessary. Here's what you should know before scheduling your consultation at the Vascular Institute of the Rockies.

What is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) takes place when a blood clot develops in at least one of the deep veins of your body, most commonly your legs. DVT can happen as a result of many factors, including having a medical condition that impacts the way your blood clots or when you don't move your legs for an extended period of time, such as after having surgery or traveling a long distance. DVT can be very dangerous and should be taken seriously because it is possible for these blood clots to break free and travel through your blood to your lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism.

What Are the Symptoms of DVT?
It's estimated that as many as 30% of people with DVT won't exhibit any warning signs or symptoms. While this is true, others may experience these DVT symptoms:

•    Tenderness or pain in your arm or leg
•    Swelling in your arm or leg
•    Red or discolored skin
•    Veins that appear larger than usual
•    A swollen limb that is warm to the touch

Can a DVT Go Away on Its Own?
While it is possible for blood clots to be absorbed by your body and resolve on their own without any medical assistance, this is more common in blood clots that are small. If your healthcare provider suspects that you could have DVT, they will likely perform a series of tests to provide you with a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Testing for DVT could include:

•    Venous ultrasonography: This test is widely used to diagnose DVT because it is non-invasive and easily accessible. It uses ultrasound waves to display the blood flow and identify clots in your blood vessels. 
•    Venography: This test injects a special dye into a catheter that is inserted into your posterior knee or neck. This study/procedure can help determine whether blood flow is partially or completely blocked through your veins.
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This method of imaging can be used in patients for whom ultrasound is infeasible.  It can provide an image of the veins in a specific area of your body to display the size and location of blood clots.

What Are the Treatment Options for DVT?
If you are diagnosed with a DVT, undergoing professional treatment can prevent the clot from getting bigger, prevent it from breaking away and traveling to your lungs, and prevent another DVT from occurring. Your healthcare provider is likely to recommend one or more of the following DVT treatment options:

•    Blood thinners to help the clot from getting bigger
•    Clot busters
•    Filters
•    Compression stockings

After your DVT treatment is complete, making certain lifestyle changes can reduce your chances of developing another DVT in the future. These include:

•    Taking your prescribed medications as directed
•    Wearing compression stockings
•    Talking to your doctor about what foods to eat or avoid
•    Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time

Promoting good circulation and strong veins is one of the most important steps you can take to live a long, healthy life. If you experience any of the symptoms of DVT, don't wait to schedule an appointment with the experienced team at the Vascular Institute of the Rockies. We are eager to provide you with an accurate diagnosis, personalized treatment plan, and, most importantly, DVT prevention tips to keep your veins clot-free for years to come. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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