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Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment: Diagnosis, Surgery, & Recovery

Don’t ignore the pain and swelling in the legs. It can be severe and a sign of deep vein thrombosis. Get advanced treatment for Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) for an effective solution and relief from the painful symptoms. Contact Pristyn Care to consult the best vascular doctors in India and determine the most suitable treatment for DVT. Book a consultation today.

Don’t ignore the pain and swelling in the legs. It can be severe and a sign of deep vein thrombosis. Get advanced treatment for ... Read More

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Best Vascular Surgeons for DVT Treatment
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    Dr. Falguni Rakesh Verma (klJ7Egw4gu)

    Dr. Falguni Rakesh Verma

    MBBS, MS - General Surgery

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    4.5/5

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    27 + Years

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    Mumbai

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    Dr. Milind Joshi (g3GJCwdAAB)

    Dr. Milind Joshi

    MBBS, MS - General Surgery

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    4.7/5

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    23 + Years

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    Pune

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    Dr. Thatipamula Srinivas (Z4DVdo8GAA)

    Dr. Thatipamula Srinivas

    MBBS, MS-General Surgery, FIAGES, FALS, MIPC

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    22 + Years

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    Hyderabad

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  • What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

    Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT is a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins, most commonly in the legs and pelvis region. This condition usually develops due to a combination of factors, including decreased blood flow, increased tendency to clot, and inflammation in the blood vessels. The blood clot thus formed can partially or completely disrupt the blood flow through the vein and result in extreme pain, swelling, and discoloration in the affected areas. 

    Normally, deep vein thrombosis is not a life-threatening condition, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, such as pulmonary embolism (PE), post-thrombotic syndrome, etc., which can be fatal. Thus, treatment is crucial for DVT. Before suggesting the most suitable treatment method, the doctor diagnoses the condition thoroughly to identify its severity and then creates a customized treatment plan. To learn more about the condition and its treatment, it’ll be best to get in touch with Pristyn Care.

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    How to Diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis?

    To confirmWhat is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?  deep vein thrombosis diagnosis and to determine the most suitable plan of treatment, the doctor will take the following approach: 

    Medical History & Physical Evaluation

    The doctor will start by taking a detailed medical history of the patient, including previous surgeries, lifestyle, family history of clotting disorders, and current medications. The doctor will also conduct a physical examination to check for signs of DVT, such as swelling, pain, warmth, and redness in the affected leg. 

    Imaging Tests

    Various tests are recommended by the doctor to rule out DVT or to determine the safest method of treatment. Common tests performed include the following:

    • Doppler Ultrasound: This deep vein thrombosis test uses sound waves to create images of the blood flow in the veins. It helps to visualize the presence, location, and extent of blood clots. 
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): The MRI will provide detailed images of the blood vessels and clots. It is particularly helpful if the doctor has some concerns about the clot’s location and its severity. 
    • D-Dimer Test: This is a test that measures the amount of a substance called D-dimer in the blood. This substance is produced in the body when a blood clot breaks down. So, if the patient has elevated levels of D-dimer, it may indicate the presence of a blood clot. However, this test is not specific and may also yield false positives in various situations. 
    • Venography: In this test, an X-ray machine is used to create images of the veins in the legs and feet after injecting a contrast dye. This test provides clear images to identify any blockages that are caused by clots. As venography is an invasive test, it is less recommended for patients. 

    Based on the above deep vein thrombosis tests, if the doctor believes that the patient may have a genetic or acquired clotting disorder, he/she may suggest further evaluations. 

    Evaluations Done Before DVT Treatment 

    If the patient is at high risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, some additional evaluations may also be done, including:

    • Clotting(Coagulation) Factor Tests: This test is done to check if the patient’s coagulation factors are working properly. Problems with the clotting factors, i.e., elevated levels, could mean that the blood is clotting too easily, even without injury, which can increase the patient’s risk of heart attack, strokes, or clots in the lungs. The test also records prothrombin time (the time it takes for the blood to clot). 
    • Genetic Testing: In some cases, the doctor may recommend genetic testing to determine if the patient has inherited the genes that put them at high risk of DVT. The genetic variations are collectively called inherited thrombophilias, and the genes responsible for the predisposition are Factor V Leiden, prothrombin gene mutation, and deficiency of protein C, S, and antithrombin. 
    • Risk Assessment: The results of the clotting factor test will help the doctor to assess the overall risk of complications from deep vein thrombosis and the potential for clot recurrence. 
    • Pulmonary Embolism Evaluation: Since DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism, the doctor will also evaluate whether any signs or symptoms of PE are present. This may involve additional imaging tests such as a chest X-ray, CT pulmonary angiogram, or ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan.

    Based on the information gathered through the diagnostic tests and evaluations, the doctor will enlist the findings and discuss the treatment options with the patients. 

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    Deep Vein Thrombosis Management & Treatment Options

    The management or treatment option for DVT is determined based on the severity of the conditions. The following options for DVT treatment are available for the patients:

    In the early stages, the doctor is likely to recommend lifestyle changes, such as elevating legs, exercising, eating healthy, etc., but as the condition progresses, anticoagulation medications or thrombolysis becomes a more effective method for DVT treatment. If the medications alone cease to work, then the doctor may recommend surgical removal of the clot or placing a filter in the deep vein (vena cava) to prevent life-threatening complications of DVT. Compression stockings for DVT are advised to be used consistently regardless of the treatment method to manage the symptoms.

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    DVT Surgery

    Deep vein thrombosis surgery or DVT surgery refers to the procedures performed to treat DVT. Surgical interventions are considered necessary when DVT is severe, causing significant symptoms, and non-surgical options have failed to resolve the condition. Some common surgical treatment options for DVT include the following:

    • Thrombectomy: In some cases, particularly when a DVT is causing severe symptoms or there’s a high risk of a clot breaking loose, a surgical procedure called thrombectomy may be performed. This involves physically removing the blood clot from the affected vein. Different techniques, such as catheter-directed thrombolysis, can be used to break down and remove larger clots. In other cases, an open or mechanical thrombectomy may be performed to break the clot and suction it out using specialized equipment, such as rotating wires or ultrasound-assisted devices. 
    • Vena Cava Filter Placement: If there’s a concern that a clot might break free and travel to the lungs despite anticoagulant therapy, a vena cava filter may be inserted. This filter is placed in the large vein (vena cava) that carries blood from the lower body to the heart. It acts as a barrier to catch any clots before they reach the lungs.
    • Angioplasty & Venous Stenting: In cases where DVT has caused significant damage to the veins or impaired blood flow, angioplasty in combination with stenting is performed. Typically, balloon angioplasty is done to expand the narrowed or blocked vessel, and a stent may be placed in the affected vein to help keep it open and restore proper blood circulation. This method primarily focuses on maintaining the blood flow instead of removing the clots. 

    It should be noted that the decision to undergo DVT surgery is made after careful consideration of the patient’s overall health, the location and severity of the clot, and potential risks. The most suitable method for DVT treatment is determined by the vascular surgeon. 

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    Benefits of DVT Treatment

    Deep vein thrombosis treatment is primarily aimed at preventing its complications, improving the symptoms, and reducing the risk of recurrence. Whether the patient gets surgical or non-surgical treatment, the advantages include the following: 

    DVT treatment plans are tailored to the individual patient’s condition, taking into account factors such as age, medical history, overall health, and risk factors. This personalized approach ensures that the treatment is appropriate and effective for the patient’s unique situation.

    How to Prepare for DVT Surgery?

    Once the surgery is scheduled, the doctor will provide detailed instructions to the patients to prepare them for the procedure. The patient will receive some instructions that need to be followed strictly to ensure the surgery’s success. Though the specific instructions will vary from one patient to another, some general instructions are given below:

    Before Surgery: 

    On the Day of Surgery: 

    Adhere to the preoperative guidelines given by the doctor and his/her team. After arrival at the hospital, the nurses ask the patient to change into a clean hospital gown, and an IV line is inserted into their arm to administer medications. The anesthetist will also discuss the anesthesia options with the patient. Once the patient is prepped for the surgery, the nurses will take him/her to the operating room. 

    *Note: The patients are advised to read the consent form thoroughly before signing it and don’t hesitate to ask questions prior to the surgery. 

    Step-by-step Procedure for DVT Treatment 

    Depending on the technique being used, the steps of DVT treatment will vary. The general step-by-step procedure will involve the following:

    The entire procedure can take around 1 to 2 hours, depending on the technique being used. 

    What are the non-surgical treatments for DVT?

    There are certain non-invasive treatment options for treating the condition of deep vein thrombosis by preventing the blood clot from getting bigger or breaking loose and traveling to the lungs. Depending upon the severity of your condition, the doctor might prescribe a number of medications or preventive gear that include:

    What to Expect After DVT Surgery?

    Immediately after DVT surgery, the patient is taken to the recovery area, where he/she will be closely monitored until the effects of anesthesia wear off. The vital signs of the patients, including heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc., are monitored. 

    The patient can expect to feel slightly disoriented, nauseous, and confused after waking up, but these side effects will improve in the next few hours. There will be mild to moderate pain in the incision site, which will be managed through pain medications. The leg may also be swollen and bruised, which can limit the patient’s mobility. 

    Depending on the surgery performed, the patient may be discharged on the same day or require hospitalization. Before discharge, the patient is given detailed post-op care instructions, a diet plan, an activity guide, and a follow-up schedule to monitor the recovery. 

    Recovery After DVT Surgery

    The recovery timeline after DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) treatment can vary depending on factors such as the severity of the DVT, the chosen treatment approach, and individual patient factors. Overall, patients may need 4 to 5 weeks to recover after DVT treatment. The general DVT surgery recovery time will be as below:

    For the long term, the doctor may advise the patient to make certain lifestyle adjustments and continue using blood thinners and compression stockings for DVT. Even after the recovery is complete, the patient needs to regularly monitor his/her health, look out for the signs of DVT, and get regular check-ups. 

    Dos and Don’ts After DVT Surgery- Care Tips to Follow

    During the recovery period after DVT surgery, the patient will need to follow several instructions for optimal and smooth recovery. The common tips are given below:

    Risks & Potential Complications of DVT Treatment

    The specific risks and complications associated with DVT can vary depending on factors such as the type of surgery, the patient’s overall health, and any underlying medical conditions. Some potential complications of DVT surgery include the following:

    In most cases, the surgeon identifies these risks beforehand and takes the necessary measures to prevent them from arising in the first place. The patients are also advised to follow the surgeon’s instructions strictly to manage the potential complications after surgery. 

    Lifestyle Changes Recommended To Prevent DVT Recurrence

    Preventing the recurrence of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) involves making certain lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of blood clot formation. It’s important to work closely with the doctor to develop a comprehensive plan tailored to the individual needs and medical history. Here are some lifestyle changes that might be recommended to help prevent DVT recurrence- 

    While some of the DVT risk factors can be managed and controlled by patients, there are still numerous factors that are out of control. Thus, following these guidelines alone may or may not be sufficient to prevent DVT recurrence. It’ll be best to talk to the doctor to take the necessary steps and reduce the chances of blood clot formation as much as possible. 

    DVT Treatment Cost in India

    DVT surgery cost in India ranges from Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 or more. This is only an estimated price range, and the actual cost may vary depending on factors such as the type of surgery, the hospital or medical facility, the location or city, the surgeon’s expertise, hospital-related expenses, prescribed medications, pre-and post-surgery care, and several other factors. 

    The cost of the most commonly performed surgeries for DVT treatment in India is given below:

    The cost of surgery usually includes fees for the surgical team, hospital stay, anesthesia, medications, preoperative and postoperative care, and other related services. Additional costs might include diagnostic tests, follow-up appointments, and any complications that arise during or after surgery. To get an estimate, call Pristyn Care and talk to our experts. 

    Is DVT Treatment Covered Under Health Insurance?

    Yes, DVT is a critical condition that can lead to life-threatening complications if not treated on time. Thus, its treatment is deemed a medical necessity and covered by all health insurance plans under all circumstances. The patient only needs to file a claim request with the TPA at the hospital or clinic where he/she is getting treatment and obtain a pre-authorization. Once the insurance company approves the claim, the patient can get DVT treatment as required without worrying about the cost. 

    The insurance policy will cover the expense of doctor’s consultation, surgery cost, medications, diagnostic tests, hospital stay, follow-ups, anesthetist fee, operating room charges, medical consumables, and second opinions. However, there may be certain clauses, such as deductibles or copays, that may require the patient to cover certain expenses incurred during the treatment. To clearly understand the inclusions and exclusions of the insurance policy, it’ll be best to talk to the insurance providers. 

    Non-Surgical Alternatives for DVT Treatment

    There are several alternatives to surgical treatment for DVT, which can be used as standalone methods or in combination with surgery for effective results. The common non-surgical alternatives for DVT treatment include the following. 

    Home Remedies & Lifestyle Modifications 

    While DVT treatment at home is not entirely possible, home remedies can provide temporary relief from the symptoms and may improve the overall health of the patients. Some common home remedies worth trying are: 

    While these natural ingredients readily available at home can be helpful in improving blood flow and dissolving the existing blood clots due to their blood thinning properties, patients should not rely on them entirely. Furthermore, DVT patients should always consult their doctor about using these home remedies with oral anticoagulant medications as they can lead to excessive blood thinning.

    Deep Vein Thrombosis Medications

    Anticoagulant medications are the first line of treatment for deep vein thrombosis to prevent and dissolve blood clots. Typically, warfarin and heparin are the most commonly used DVT anticoagulation medications. In extreme cases (higher risk of pulmonary embolism), thrombolytics or thrombolysis is recommended for the patient. 

    In the initial stages, injectable heparin, also called unfractionated heparin, is given to the patient intravenously for thromboprophylaxis. This anticoagulant is preferred when the clot needs to be dissolved as soon as possible. Unlike this, warfarin is an oral anticoagulant that takes around 48 to 72 hours to take effect. Some commonly used deep vein thrombosis anticoagulation medications are listed below: 

    The patient should not take any anticoagulant medications without consulting the doctor or make changes (increase, decrease, start, or stop) to the dosages. In most cases, patients may also be advised to make certain lifestyle changes to prevent further problems. 

    Compression Stockings for DVT 

    Patients who are at high risk of DVT or have had DVT surgery may be prescribed to wear compression stockings to promote blood circulation and prevent the pooling of blood that increases the risk of blood clot formation. 

    DVT stockings are special, tight-fitting stockings that gently compress the leg. The deep vein thrombosis compression stockings are usually tight at the ankle and comparatively loose at the calves. They need to be used for as long as possible and as much as possible. 

    As DVT stockings are available in different lengths and sizes, it’ll be best to consult a specialist to determine which would be a more suitable and safe option. Compression stockings also come with different levels of pressure (measured in mmHg). To manage DVT, patients will likely need somewhat tighter stockings. 

    FAQs about Deep Vein Thrombosis

    Is surgery the only treatment for deep vein thrombosis?

    Some mild cases of deep vein thrombosis can be treated through medications and lifestyle modifications. However, if the condition of deep vein thrombosis is severe, it is always a better option not to delay the proper treatment to get faster relief.

    When can I resume work after a deep vein thrombosis surgery?

    Generally, one can resume work within a week of surgery, especially if you have a desk job. However, for better results and smoother recovery, it is always advisable to take a rest for at least 10-14 days.

    How long does deep vein thrombosis surgery last?

    The advanced and latest deep vein thrombosis treatment procedures may last 25-45 minutes. However, the surgical duration may vary depending on factors such as the type of technique used during the procedure, the type of anesthesia given to the patient, the area affected by deep vein thrombosis, etc.

    Is deep vein thrombosis surgery painful?

    No. Deep vein thrombosis surgery performed with the latest medical technology is minimally invasive and performed under the influence of anesthesia, which makes the treatment painless.

     

    Can deep vein thrombosis get treated through medication?

    Some mild cases of deep vein thrombosis can be treated through medications and lifestyle modifications. However, if the condition of deep vein thrombosis is severe, it is always a better option not to delay the proper treatment to get faster relief.

    What is the Deep vein thrombosis treatment cost in India?

    On average, DVT treatment costs around Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 approximately in India.

    How long can you have DVT without knowing?

    You can have DVT without knowing for several days or weeks. Almost 30% to 40% of DVT cases go unnoticed due to the absence of typical symptoms. 

    What is the best treatment for DVT?

    There are various treatment options available for DVT, and the best method is determined by the doctor after evaluating the severity of the condition. Initially, blood thinning medications are prescribed to dissolve the clots, but if the condition gets worse, surgery may be recommended for an effective solution.

    Can DVT be cured completely?

    DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, can be treated and managed successfully with anticoagulant medications and other surgical measures. However, whether the condition can be cured depends on the specific case. In some cases, the clots fully dissolve over time, but the residual effects or risk of developing blood clots may remain.

    What foods should be avoided in DVT?

    Patients who have DVT should avoid foods, such as refined and processed foods like white bread, crackers, french fries, pastries, pre-packaged food, etc. Along with this, it’s also recommended to reduce or stop the intake of sugary drinks, sodas, trans fat, and red and processed meats. 

    What vitamins are good for DVT patients?

    Generally, vitamin B12, B3 (niacin), and folic acid are beneficial for DVT patients. These B vitamins help to break down the protein (homocysteine) that causes blood clotting, thereby reducing the risk of DVT.

    What is the difference between deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins?

    Varicose veins occur in the superficial veins that are present underneath the skin, while DVT affects the deeper veins. DVT is a more serious condition as it affects the major veins through which blood clots can travel to organs like the heart and lungs.

    Can deep vein thrombosis cure itself?

    Deep vein thrombosis may resolve on its own in several weeks to months without causing any symptoms. However, this doesn’t happen very often. Most patients develop serious symptoms, such as pain in the limb, mobility issues, swelling, skin discoloration, etc.

    Can varicose veins cause deep vein thrombosis?

    No, varicose veins cannot cause deep vein thrombosis because both these conditions develop in different types of veins. However, there is a correlation between these two. Patients who have severe varicose veins also have a higher risk of DVT due to underlying venous problems. 

    Is DVT treatment in Can deep vein thrombosis cure itself? pregnancy possible?

    Yes, it is possible to treat DVT in pregnant women. The treatment involves using anticoagulant medications that dissolve the existing blood clots and prevent the formation of new ones. In most cases, unfractionated heparin or low molecular weight heparin for pregnant women. Warfarin is not used because it can cause fetal toxicity and increase the risk of miscarriage. 

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    Types of Surgeries for deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

    Inferior vena cava (IVC) Filter

    This is a metallic device that is placed inside the inferior vena cava that runs through the abdomen. IVC filters help in reducing the risk of pulmonary embolism by trapping blood clots and preventing them from reaching the lungs. During the procedure, an incision is made around the abdomen and a catheter is inserted into the vein which is guided by an X-ray. The filter is then placed over the blood clot inside the vein and gradually, it attaches itself to the walls of the vein. This method of treatment is usually prescribed if you are unable to take medicines to thin your blood.

    Catheter-directed thrombolysis

    This is a minimally invasive procedure that dissolves the abnormal blood clots present in the blood vessels to help improve blood flow and prevent any further damage to the tissues and organs. Catheter-directed thrombolysis uses a catheter, guided by X-ray imaging that helps in applying the medical device to the site of a blood clot in order to dissolve the blockage.

    Percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy/Angioplasty

    This is considered very safe and effective for treating a condition of acute iliofemoral deep vein thrombosis. A percutaneous thrombectomy is combined with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty which includes the insertion of a catheter attached to a small inflatable balloon through a tiny incision around the site of the clot. Once the balloon is inserted, it is inflated and slowly pulled back outside, entirely removing the clot within the vein.

    Open thrombectomy

    Also known as venous thrombectomy, this is a procedure that involves surgical removal of the blood clot present inside an artery or a vein. During this procedure, the surgeon makes cuts or incisions in the blood vessels around the blood clot. Once the blood clot is identified, the surgeon removes the blood clot before repairing the blood vessels and the tissues.

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