Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - diagnosis and treatment (2023)



To diagnoseTVP, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms. The provider will check the legs for swelling, tenderness, or changes in skin color.

The tests you have depend on whether your provider thinks you are at low or high risk ofTVP.


Tests used to diagnose or rule outTVPinclude:

  • D-dimer blood test.D-dimer is a type of protein produced by blood clots. Almost all people with severeTVPhave elevated blood levels of D-dimer. This test can usually help rule outPHYSICAL EDUCATION.
  • Duplex Ultrasound.This non-invasive test uses sound waves to create images of how blood flows in your veins. It is the standard test to diagnoseTVP. For the test, a care provider gently moves a small handheld device (transducer) across the skin over the area of ​​the body being studied. Additional ultrasounds may be done over several days to check for new blood clots or to see if an existing one is growing.
  • Venography.This test uses x-rays and dye to create an image of the veins in the legs and feet. The dye is injected into a large vein in the foot or ankle. Helps blood vessels show up more clearly on X-rays. The test is invasive, so it is rarely done. Other tests, such as an ultrasound, are usually done first.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).This test can be done to diagnoseTVPin the veins of the belly (abdomen).

More information

  • magnetic resonance
  • ultrasound


compression socks

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - diagnosis and treatment (1)

compression socks

Compression stockings, also called support stockings, put pressure on the legs and improve blood flow. A sock steward can help put on your socks.

There are three main objectives toTVPtreatment.

  • It prevents the clot from getting bigger.
  • Prevent the clot from breaking loose and traveling to the lungs.
  • Reduce the chances of anotherTVP.

TVPtreatment options include:

  • Anticoagulants.These medicines, also called anticoagulants, help prevent blood clots from increasing. Blood thinners reduce the risk of developing more clots.

    Anticoagulants can be taken orally or given by4or an injection under the skin. There are many different types of anticoagulant medicines that are used to treatTVP. Together, you and your doctor will discuss your benefits and risks to determine what is best for you.

    You may need to take blood-thinning pills for three months or more. It is important to take them exactly as prescribed to avoid serious side effects.

    People who take a blood thinner called warfarin (Jantoven) need regular blood tests to monitor levels of the drug in the body. Certain anticoagulant medications are not safe during pregnancy.

  • Clot breakers (thrombolytics).These medicines are used for more serious types ofTVPoPHYSICAL EDUCATION, or if other medicines do not work.

    The clot busters are given by4or through a tube (catheter) placed directly into the clot. They can cause severe bleeding, so they are generally only used for people with severe blood clots.

  • Filters.If you can't take blood-thinning medicine, a filter may be placed in a large vein, the vena cava, in your belly (abdomen). A vena cava filter prevents clots from breaking loose in the lungs.
  • Support stockings (compression stockings).These special knee-high stockings help prevent blood from pooling in the legs. They help reduce leg swelling. Use them on your legs, from the feet to the level of the knees. ForTVP, normally wear these socks during the day for a few years if possible.

More information

  • warfarin side effects

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Explore Mayo Clinic studiesTesting new treatments, interventions, and tests as a means of preventing, detecting, treating, or managing this condition.

Lifestyle and home remedies.

AfterTVPtreatment, follow these tips to manage the condition and prevent complications or more blood clots:

  • Ask about her diet.Foods high in vitamin K, such as spinach, kale, other leafy green vegetables, and Brussels sprouts, can interfere with the blood thinner warfarin.
  • Take medications as directed.Your provider will tell you how long you need treatment. If you are taking certain blood thinners, you will need regular blood tests to see how well your blood is clotting.
  • Beware of excessive bleeding.This can be a side effect of blood thinners. Ask your healthcare provider about the warning signs. Know what to do if bleeding occurs. Also ask your provider if you have activity restrictions. Small injuries that cause bruising or even a simple cut can become serious if you are taking blood thinners.
  • Mover.If you've been on bed rest due to surgery or other reasons, the sooner you move, the less chance you have of developing blood clots.
  • Wear support stockings.Use them to help prevent blood clots in the legs if your doctor recommends them.

Preparing for your date

TVPit is considered a medical emergency. It is important to be treated quickly. If there is time before your appointment, here is some information to help you prepare.

What can you do

Make a list of:

  • your symptoms,including any that appear to be unrelated to deep vein thrombosis, and when they started
  • important personal information,including notes about travel, hospital stays, any illnesses, surgeries, or traumas in the past three months, and any personal or family history of blood clotting disorders
  • all medicines,vitamins or other supplements you take, including dosages
  • Questions to askyour health care provider

If possible, take a family member or friend with you to help you remember the information you have been given.

ForTVP, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Which is the best treatment?
  • What are the options beyond the main treatment you are suggesting?
  • Will I have to restrict travel or activities?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Are there brochures or other printed materials that I may have? What sites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Have you been inactive lately, such as sitting or lying down for long periods?
  • Do you always have symptoms or do they come and go?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, makes your symptoms better?
  • What, if any, makes your symptoms worse?

By Mayo Clinic staff

Book an appointment at the Mayo Clinic

June 11, 2022


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  1. Venous thromboembolism. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  2. Bauer KA et al. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of the non-pregnant adult with suspected deep vein thrombosis in the lower extremities. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  3. Libby P, et al., eds. Cardiovascular disease in the elderly. In: Braunwald heart disease: a textbook of cardiovascular medicine. 12th edition. Elsevier; 2022. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  4. Lip GYH, et al. General description of the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower limbs. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  5. What is venous thromboembolism? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  6. Diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  7. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis. In: Harrison's Manual of Medicine. 20th edition. McGraw Hill; 2020. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  8. Casco RD, et al. Warfarin biology and modulators of INR control. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  9. Blood-Thinning Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely. Agency for Health Research and Quality. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  10. Pruthi RK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. September 22, 2020.
  11. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed April 5, 2022.


  • warfarin side effects

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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

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