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Since September 2017 with a European Regional Development Fund grant, we have been able to offer DVT ultrasound diagnosis with our specially trained sonographers and state of the art ultrasound equipment.

What is DVT?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, most commonly the legs.

DVT Symptoms

Nonspecific signs may include pain, swelling, redness, warmness, and engorged superficial veins.

Is DVT dangerous?

If left untreated it can lead to a Pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening complication, is caused by the detachment (embolization) of a clot that travels to the lungs.

How do we diagnose DVT?

In the diagnosis of DVT, the physician considers the patient’s specific risk factors, the patient’s symptoms, the physical examination, other possible explanations for the symptoms, and the results of objective tests, such as some method of imaging or seeing the clot. This is achieved through the use of a Duplex Ultrasound.

Duplex Ultrasound

The first diagnostic method that is usually performed to image or see the clot is ultrasound—specifically, duplex ultrasound.

Duplex ultrasound successfully identifies 95 percent of deep vein thromboses that occur in the large veins above the knee. The ability of duplex ultrasound to detect DVT in the large veins above the knee is so good that when the test is positive, no further testing is necessary and treatment may be started. Conversely, if the test is negative, the chance that there is a DVT is so small that treatment may safely be withheld.

Duplex ultrasound will also successfully identify 60 to 70 percent of calf vein thromboses. While calf vein thromboses account for only 20 percent of all DVT cases, only one in five these thromboses ever grows in the first week or two after it is initially suspected. Also, calf vein thromboses are less likely to break free and travel to the lung or “embolize.” Therefore, if the ultrasound is negative, even though a DVT may be present in a calf vein, treatment may be withheld and the ultrasound repeated in five to seven days if the symptoms persist. Calf vein thrombosis may be treated like superficial thrombophlebitis.

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