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What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis (throm-BO-sis), or DVT, is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body. As blood thickens and clumps together, blood clots occur.

The majority of deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. Though they can also present in other parts of the body.

A blood clot in a deep vein can separate and travel through the bloodstream. The clot once separated is called an embolus (EM-bo-lus). In some cases, the clot may travel to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow. This medical condition is called pulmonary embolism (PULL-mun-ary EM-bo-lizm), or PE.

Pulmonary Embolism is a very serious condition that can lead to lung damage or in some cases death.

A blood clot in the thigh is more likely to separate and cause PE than blood clots in the lower legs or other parts of the body. Blood clots may also develop in veins closer to the skin's surface. These clots are considered less serious and won't separate and lead to pulmonary embolism.

Dr. Franciosa, at Vein Nevada, treats patients in the northern Nevada area with vein conditions at his office in Reno.