Thrombosis

Thrombosis is the formation or the presence of a clot inside a blood vessel or chamber of the heart. Clots can block or obstruct blood flow, as well as cause serious complications if the clot moves to the brain or the lungs.

Blood clots can form in the veins or arteries. One of the more commonly known blood clots in the veins is called deep vein thrombosis. Maybe you’ve heard warnings about developing this during long airline flights.

Blood clots in arteries can cause strokes and heart attacks because the blockages reduce the oxygen supply to heart cells. And if a blood clot breaks free and travels around the body, it can obstruct the blood flow to the brain or the lungs. This process is known as an embolism.

Call 911 if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest lasting more than a few minutes
  • Pain extending to your shoulder, arm, back or jaw
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Sudden weakness or numbness of your face, arm or leg
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden blurred, double or decreased vision

Call your doctor if you have swelling, redness, numbness or pain in an arm or leg. At Mercy, heart and vascular specialists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating conditions related to blood clots.

Our vascular team will evaluate your symptoms and develop a treatment plan focused on your needs. We’ll not only provide you with advanced treatment options, but also help you make lifestyle changes that could reduce your risk for blood clots as well as serious complications.

How is thrombosis diagnosed?

Doppler ultrasound is most often used to detect thrombosis. This technology uses sound waves to check the blood flow in your arteries and veins and locate clots that might be blocking the blood flow.

How is it thrombosis treated?

Treatment begins right away to reduce the chance that the blood clot will grow or that a piece of the clot might break loose and flow to your lungs. This may include:

  • Blood thinning medications for at least three months to prevent existing clots from growing
  • Propping up or elevating your leg when possible
  • Taking walks and wearing compression stockings

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