October 1, 2020 Dr Zil

Thrombosis is a broad umbrella term that refers to a range of conditions that all involve blood clots forming in the vein or artery when there is no bleeding. When a clot like this forms (also known as a thrombus), it can have varied health effects depending on where it occurs. Depending on your general condition, thrombosis may be a singular incident or a more chronic problem. However, the good news is that generally, Thrombosis can be cured.

How is Thrombosis caused?

Thrombi can be caused by a number of factors, including

  • Damage to an artery, vein or surrounding tissue
  • Surgery
  • Limited movement, especially for long periods of time like sitting on a plane or driving for hours on end.
  • Genetics, particularly blood-clotting disorders.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Smoking.

What does a Thrombi, or a blood clot, feel like?

Clots can cause a feeling of pain in the leg, like a cramping soreness, as well as causing redness in the area and warmth in the affected leg. These initial symptoms are in themselves alright but act as a warning of something potentially much more serious.

The primary risk of thrombosis is that it breaks loose and travels through your bloodstream. This can cause it to lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow and causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening. (If you start to experience sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid pulse, light-headedness/dizziness or coughing up blood, seek immediate medical attention.)

Another risk of thrombosis is developing Postphlebitic Syndrome (PTS). This occurs when part of the leg is damaged by a DVT, leading to long-term swelling, pain, skin discolouration and the forming of ulcers.

DVT is relatively uncommon, affecting about 1 in 1000 people (Anyone over 80 is ten times more likely to develop a DVT). If you suspect that you have one, it’s important to see a doctor to diagnose and refer you for appropriate treatment.

Read more: Why do blood clots form?

Progression of deep vein thrombosis

Can Thrombosis be cured?

The good news is that there are several simple and successful methods used to treat DVT and other thrombi. While we’ve outlined some key remedies below, they should always be done in consultation with a doctor.

  • Anti-Coagulants: Known as blood thinners, these reduce the risk of a clot forming and help your body to safely remove most clots that have formed. These should only be taken with the consultation of a doctor or clot/blood specialist.
  • Compression Stockings: Medical-grade compression stockings are one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of clots forming, and is particularly effective at treating current clots, especially alongside the use of anti-coagulants. Compression stockings can be purchased at The Vein Institute Shop. Wearing compression stockings on flights, while driving and while at work (if you stand or sit all day), will help to reduce the risk of clots forming, and is one of the best ways to manage chronic forming of clots.
  • Exercise and Therapy: This is recommended to be done in combination with compression stockings. By exercising regularly, even if it’s just a simple walk, your circulation improves, helping the blood to move properly. Sometimes a doctor will recommend physiotherapy and stretches to help improve circulation and manage any associated pain, as well as reducing the risk of further clots (particularly in people who are overweight).

Seek expert advice

The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.

The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:

  • Walk-in walk-out treatment
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
  • No general anaesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call  1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.