Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood back to your heart. Some of these veins are deep inside the muscle, some are superficial lying just beneath the skin, and the rest connect the deep veins to the superficial veins. The deep veins lead to the vena cava, the largest vein of the body, which runs directly to the heart. A deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in the deep vein system of the body. It occurs most commonly in the pelvis, thigh or calf, but can also occur in an arm or your chest.
How did I get a deep vein thrombosis?
There are a variety of risk factors that can contribute to deep vein thrombosis:
- Surgery: particularly surgery of the hip, leg or abdomen
- Trauma or bone fracture
- A long period of bed rest or sitting for a long period of time
- Birth control pills or hormones taken for symptoms of menopause
- Varicose veins
- PICC line
- Having a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD)
There are also risk factors that do not necessarily cause a DVT, but may put you at increased risk of getting one:
- An inherited tendency that increases risk for blood clots
- Age greater than 60
- Type A blood group