Post-Thrombotic Syndrome: A Complication of DVT

Leg painThis condition is often mild, and specialists can quickly treat it once they identify a person with the syndrome. Read on to know the causes and symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome to make sure you are not at risk for this condition.

What Is Post-Thrombotic Syndrome?

This disorder is also known as post-phlebitic syndrome. It is a long-term complication of the condition deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood continuously flows through the arteries and veins, with the power of the heart working as a pump to push blood through the arteries to peripheral tissues, and the combined action of external muscles and internal valves pushing the blood through the veins back to the heart. These valves in veins prevent pooling and back flow of blood in the veins, which could cause the development of a clot.

If a DVT remains within the vessels of the limbs for too long, it can damage the vein or its valves, leading to post-thrombotic syndrome. Its long-term effects include pain and swelling of the affected limb, darkened skin color, skin sores, and varicose veins. A second DVT may also occur.

Who Is Susceptible to Post-Thrombotic Syndrome?

In the United States alone, approximately 330,000 already have post-thrombotic syndrome. There are no fixed rules on who will experience Post-Thrombotic Syndrome, but the elderly and obese with varicose veins are at an increased risk for the complication. If a person with DVT does not receive any form of treatment, they will also be at higher risk of developing the syndrome.

To minimize the risk of developing the syndrome, a patient with DVT can wear compression stockings to help decrease swelling. It is also essential to comply with physician-prescribed anticoagulants to prevent this condition. Elevating the affected limb above the level of the heart is also important to promote blood flow back to the heart and avoid stasis.

Specialists can treat the condition using various methods depending on the severity of the complication. They may advise preventive measures and provide medications and can perform invasive procedures when necessary.