Venous Thrombosis

Venous thrombosis or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition where blood clots form in the deep veins of your body. This condition mostly affects the lower limbs such as the legs and thigh, although they can occur in other parts of the body. If one of these clots breaks away, it causes an embolus, which is a blood clot. This blood clot might travel through an artery to lung causing devastating results.

Pregnancy and DVT

Because of hormonal changes and increased pressure on the uterus during pregnancy, which causes slower blood flow to lower extremities, the risk for developing a DVT is increased. This risk last for six weeks after giving birth and for women who have had a C-section; because of the need to be on bedrest.

Symptoms of venous thrombosis

Signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis are usually subtle at first and hard to recognize. Usual symptoms are gradual swelling, warmth and pain, usually in the calf, feeling like a very bad cramp. The affected limb may become pale or turn slightly bluish in color.

Diagnostics

Ultrasound with Doppler is a non-invasive test to diagnose DVT in pregnant women. This imaging study uses sound wave to detect sluggish blood flow and the presence of a DVT in the lower extremities. This test allows the ultrasound tech to hear and view the direction of blood flow. An ultrasound with Doppler test does not expose the fetus to ionizing radiation.

Reference: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dvt/

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