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Deep Vein Thrombosis & Pulmonary Embolism

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are both life-threatening blood clots. DVT refers to blood clots in the legs while PE refers to a blood clot that has traveled to the lungs and requires immediate medical attention. DVT and PE combined are known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). Most DVT symptoms, if there are any, are in the leg and include swelling, pain, warmth and redness. PE symptoms include trouble breathing, a sharp chest pain with breathing, coughing up blood and a rapid heartbeat.

 

Risk factors for blood clots include:
  • Prolonged periods of sitting (in a car, on an airplane, etc.)
  • Surgery
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hormones  (during pregnancy or estrogen contraceptives)
  • Family history of clotting disorders
  • Previous DVT
Your primary care provider or emergency physician may refer you to the Surgical Care Group for treatment if you have a DVT. If you’ve experienced venous blood clots or a pulmonary embolism in the past, an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter may also be recommended. An IVC filter is a small device that can stop blood clots from going up into the lungs. The IVC is a large vein in the middle of your body. The device is put in during a short surgery.

diagnosis, treatment and technologies

screening

There are a number of screenings available to diagnose a blood clot If you are deemed at risk or are showing symptoms. These include diagnostic imaging like ultrasound and MRI as well as a blood test. Your doctor or an emergency physician may order one of these tests. Our expert providers can also help determine which screening and treatment is right for you.

lifestyle adjustments and medications

Lifestyle adjustments like exercise, weight loss, and addressing other medical issues can help reduce the risk of or manage DVT. DVT and PE are most often treated with blood thinners to keep the blood clot from growing larger and prevent new ones from forming. A PE is frequently treated in the hospital with a medicine to help dissolve the clot. This is called thrombolytic therapy.

interventional and surgical treatments

Surgery may be needed for certain cases. An embolectomy is a surgery to remove a blood clot from the lung. An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter can also be placed in the vein to block clots from traveling out of the leg and into the rest of the blood stream.

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Complimentary Vein Screening Clinic

If you’ve been wondering about the cause of your varicose veins, aching, itchiness, pain, heaviness and/or swelling in your legs, join the experts at CMC’s New England Heart & Vascular Institute for a complimentary 15-minute vein screening clinic. Our board-certified vascular surgeons and vascular sonographers will help you identify potential problems and recommend treatment options so you can maintain your overall health.

Clinics are held the second Thursday of the month, from 5–6 PM at CMC's Vein & Vascular Specialists in Bedford. Reserve your spot today!

Accreditation for Quality Care to Vascular Patients

CMC has achieved accreditations by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for its noninvasive vascular testing. This accreditation recognizes CMC's delivery of quality care and testing to vascular patients. 

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Vascular team

Our vascular physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and support staff bring extensive expertise and skill to each procedure, and take a personal interest in your well-being.

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