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Are You at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolisms?

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Are You at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolisms?

Posted on March 21, 2018 by Ryan Rivard

DVT - image 3.jpg

Did you know that up to 100,000 Americans die each year from vein disease? While 1-2 per 1,000 people are affected by DVT and PE each year in the US, 5-8% of the population has a genetic predisposition (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

If you determine that you are at risk for vein disease, that you have your veins examined regularly. If left unchecked vein disease can progress and cause serious health problems and even death.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a clot forms in one of the veins that is deep within the body, usually in the legs. It is caused by advanced vein disease, immobility, certain medications, or an injury that prevents blood from circulating or clotting normally. Symptoms may include significant burning pain when walking or standing, swelling, tightness of the skin, and cramps, rash, warmth or redness at the affected area. In half the cases of DVT, there are no symptoms at all DVT could potentially block blood flow to the leg, threatening its viability, or the blot clot could become a pulmonary embolism.

What is a Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a blood clot that is formed in the body breaks off and travels through the blood stream. If it travels to one of the major organs, such as the heart or lungs, it can cause increasing chest pain or discomfort when breathing or coughing, sudden shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, rapid pulse, coughing up blood, and even sudden death. Aside from discovery during diagnosis of vein disease or other medical conditions, a pulmonary embolism is not likely to be discovered before it strikes.

What are the risk factors of venous blood clots?


  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Family or personal history of DVT/PE
  • Factor V Leiden
  • Varicose veins
  • Thrombophilia
  • Hereditary antithrombin deficiency
  • Protein C deficiency
  • Protein S deficiency

Blood disorders

  • Polycythemia (increased number of red blood cells)
  • Sickle cell anemia



  • Risk doubles each decade after age 40


  • 6-8 weeks after delivery
  • Cesarean section delivery


  • Birth control
  • Hormone replacement therapy

Extended periods of immobility

  • Air travel
  • Train travel
  • Driving
  • Bed rest
  • Paralysis
  • Central venous catheter

Trauma (up to 3 months prior)

  • Surgery (especially in the hip, knee or lower leg)
  • Hospitalization
  • Fracture of arm or leg
  • Bruising of arm or leg
  • Muscle injury


Cancer (active or recent)

  • Surgery
  • Treatment
  • Medications

Heart failure

Kidney disease

Lung disease

Bowel disease

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

If you are at risk for DVT or PE, it is important that you regularly visit a board-certified vein specialist to monitor your vein health. Vein disease does not get better without treatment. There is no need to live with the pain and discomfort of varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis. It’s not worth the risk. Schedule a consultation today.



At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us.  That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today.  We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Glenview, Northbrook, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. 

We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.



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