Venous thrombosis - treatment

Apr 7, 2012 , MUDr. Ján Podhorec

zilni-tromboza-lecba.jpg - kopie
zilni-tromboza-lecba.jpg - kopie
Venous thrombosis is a condition where blood clots form in veins. Most often lower limbs are affected. Treatment of venous thrombosis includes both preventative measures, which prevent thrombosis, and measures for removing blood clots once venous thrombosis develops. Proper treatment of venous thrombosis is particularly important to avoid the risk of pulmonary embolism.

Treatment of venous thrombosis

Venous thrombosis is a technical term for a blood clot, or thrombus, in a vein. This occurs mainly in the veins of the lower extremities and the pelvis. Due to the presence of a thrombus blood flow is restricted and blood in the vein of the affected body part starts to accumulate. The biggest danger of venous thrombosis is if the blood clot breaks loose. It migrates through the veins to the heart and from there to the lungs, where it gets stuck in the pulmonary artery and causes the pulmonary embolism, which is often a lethal complication.

Causes of venous thrombosis

There are many causes leading to the formation of blood clots and thus the formation of venous thrombosis. They are especially increased blood clotting, slowing of blood flow and damage of the venous wall.

  • Increased blood clotting can be hereditary, when the patient suffers from a lack of various enzymes and clotting factors. However, this condition is possible to obtain in life. Some tumors can release substances that increase blood clotting. The same effect also has hormonal contraception.
  • The slowdown of blood flow occurs e.g. after prolonged immobilization of the patient whether in terms of standing, sitting, or lying in bed. Blood flow can be slowed down by a tumor, which oppresses the respective blood vessel.
  • Damage to the venous wall may occur after injury, injection, as a consequence of smoking, or after the introduction of catheters.

Symptoms of venous thrombosis

Venous thrombosis mainly affects the deep vein system of the lower extremities, but may occur in the veins of the arms, pelvis, or the chest. However, the most frequent is thrombosis of the lower limbs. Such a patient experiences sudden swelling of the legs, pain during rest and especially during exercise. It is caused by accumulation of blood, which has an impaired outflow. Skin at the site of thrombosis is warm and reddish. Moreover, significant pain is present.

Preventive treatment of venous thrombosis

Since most patients with risk of venous thrombosis, are patients lying in hospital due to other diseases, doctors try to prevent its occurrence. Within these preventive measures are served medications that reduce blood clotting. There are many types of these drugs. They mutually differ in their mechanism or manner of administration. The most common preparation is heparin or warfarin. Preventive measures usually take several months but can take longer or even for lifetime. This is especially with elder people, or patients suffering from congenital disorders of blood coagulation. Likewise, prevention includes smoking abstinence, avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting and the use of hormonal contraception should be consulted.

Treatment of venous thrombosis after its formation

The aim of venous thrombosis treatment is to remove the thrombus and restoring venous patency. This can be achieved by invasive and non-invasive methods.

Non-invasive methods of venous thrombosis treatment

Non-invasive treatment means that there is no penetration of tools or equipment in to the patient. If a blood clot forms in a vein, usually the first step in its treatment is to bandage the limb with a compression bandage, which usually leads to pain relief. In these phases movement is important for the patients, but of course this is not suitable and beneficial for everyone. Movement may be prevented by excessive swelling or poor general condition of the patient. Given that thrombosis is determined by unregulated blood clotting in the blood vessel treatment focuses on reducing this state. For this there are many special drugs, such as heparin or similar substances.

Invasive methods of venous thrombosis treatment

Invasive methods mean that the treatment interferes with the patient's body with instruments and tools. These methods of treatment of venous thrombosis are nowadays used as a last option. Here belongs the catheterization procedure where a catheter is introduced in to the vein, which is a special device in the form of a tubing. With it you can disrupt a blood clot in the vein and restore blood flow. Another option is to surgically open the vein and remove the blood clot.

Complications of venous thrombosis treatment

Like almost every therapy also treatment of venous thrombosis can have its complications. Sometimes it can happen that the treatment of increased blood clotting does not achieve the desired balance, which would be close to normal. Therefore various bleeding complications can occur. However, in any case the risk compared with the benefits of the treatment of venous thrombosis is very low. Invasive methods of treatment may lead to rupture of the vein.

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