Complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a condition affecting the deeply situated veins in our body especially the veins present in the legs. There is formation of a blood clot (thrombus) in these veins which obstruct the blood flow in the veins.

People having these conditions have higher chances of suffering from DVT:

  1. Blood clotting disorder
  2. On oral contraceptive pills
  3. Obese or overweight
  4. A chronic cigarette smoker
  5. Bed ridden or in a wheelchair
  6. Job profile involving a lot of plane travel to long distance places
  7. Pregnancy also increases the chances of DVT
  8. People recently having undergone knee replacement surgery


Patients mainly complain of calf pain, tenderness, swelling and redness of the calves, increased warmth in the local area and engorged superficial veins. Discoloration of the skin can also be seen.

The diagnosis is based on the patient’s history and few tests like D-dimer test and coagulation profiles. Ultrasonography of the whole leg can detect the thrombosis in the deep veins. Some other tests like Doppler, CT scan venography, MRI of the vein can also be performed.

DVT is treated with blood thinners, fibrinoytics (cause breakdown of the clots) and compression stockings.  A regular periodic blood testing is required to maintain and the check the levels of these medicines in the body.

Sufficient amount of Vitamin K intake is necessary for controlling DVT. It is also useful to exercise at least walking for half an hour to an hour everyday to manage DVT. Repetitive image based testing is necessary to check for the recurrence of the DVT.


There are three major complications which occur because of DVT:

  1. Varicose veins

Normally the deoxygenated blood flows from the superficial veins to the deep veins of the body while returning back to the lungs via heart to get oxygenated. As the blood flow is hindered due to the thrombus in the deep veins, it leads to rerouting of the blood in the superficial vein. The superficial veins are not physiologically accustomed to take this increased blood volume. In order to accommodate this extra volume, the walls of the superficial veins get stretched over a period of time. This leads to the increased tortuosity of the superficial veins. These veins are commonly known as varicose veins.


  1. Pulmonary embolism:

This is the most life threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis.  A part of the deep vein thrombus (also known as embolus) gets detached from the main thrombus and travels through the veins in the body to the vasculature of the lungs. If it blocks any of the major vessels in the lungs, it can lead to instant death. The patients having DVT should be on the lookout for the symptoms of pulmonary embolism such as shortness of breath, blood in cough, chest pain, increased heart rate and breathing rate. The patient might also feel dizzy, lightheaded and faint.


  1. Post thrombotic syndrome:

 It is also called as post phlebitis syndrome. It occurs as a long term complication of deep vein thrombosis. The patient may complain of symptoms such as:

  • Swelling of the legs
  • Bluish-blackish discoloration of the legs
  • Severe pain in legs
  • Itching or tingling sensations in the legs
  • Varicose veins
  • Ulcers on the legs
  • Worsening of symptoms after standing for a long time

Post thrombotic syndrome severely affects the quality of life of the patient as it limits the daily activities. There is also loss of work productivity because of PTS.


In order to avoid these life threatening and debilitating side effects, it’s very necessary to diagnose and treat deep vein thrombosis as soon as possible if you are suspecting deep vein thrombosis. Book an Appointment for Varicose Veins Treatment in Hyderabad by Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala!