Venous Thrombosis | Symptoms | MedStar Health

Expert care to prevent serious complications from a common blood clot

Venous thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in your veins and prevents the normal flow of blood. The most common type occurs in your leg’s deep veins, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

If a blood clot breaks free and travels through your body, it can cause a pulmonary embolism or stroke. Our Vein Program specialists  will help control your symptoms and reduce the risk of serious complications.

What are the symptoms of venous thrombosis?

Symptoms vary based on the location and size of the clot. You may experience:

  • Pain and swelling in the affected limb

  • Numbness

  • Reddish discoloration of the skin

  • Skin that feels warm to the touch


Diagnosing venous thrombosis is the first step to developing a treatment plan. A venous duplex ultrasound  is often used to examine blood flow through your veins. Your doctor also may recommend blood tests to see how your blood clots.

Angiogram (Angiography)

An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.

Arterial duplex ultrasound for arms and legs

Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Carotid Duplex Ultrasound

Carotid duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries that supply blood to your brain.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.


A fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses a continuous X-ray beam passed through the body to create real-time, moving images of your internal structures.

Fractional Flow Reserve

Fractional flow reserve, also known as FFR, is a measurement of how well blood can flow through the coronary arteries. Narrowing or blockages in these arteries can lead to a heart attack without treatment.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Pulse Volume Recording

Pulse volume recording tests are used to evaluate blood flow through the arteries in your arms or legs.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.


You may be prescribed medication to prevent your blood from clotting improperly. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or more advanced treatments to prevent future blood clots. In some cases, procedures such as thrombolysis or venous stenting may be required.

Venous Disease Treatments  

Venous disease treatment may include medications, minimally invasive and surgical procedures to improve blood flow and circulation.

Rheolytic Thrombectomy  

Rheolytic thrombectomy uses a jet of saline delivered through a catheter to break up a blood clot.


Stenting uses a mesh tube to open narrow blood vessels and improve blood flow.


Thrombolysis, also known as thrombolytic therapy, is a treatment to dissolve or break up dangerous blood clots that can cause heart attacks, strokes, and other conditions.


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