Post Thrombotic Syndrome: Cause, Treatment, Pain Management & Complications

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Post Thrombotic Syndrome: Cause, Treatment, Pain Management & Complications - Best Vein Varicose Clinic in Victoria Melbourne

When you have continuous symptoms of a blood clot, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in your leg, you have Post-Thrombotic Syndrome. Some people with DVT or blood clots in the leg heal fully, but others continue to have symptoms, which are referred to as PTS.

PTS is a condition that causes redness, swelling, ulceration, and chronic limb pain in more than a third of those who have DVT. PTS can impair your mobility and is costly to cure, so it's best to avoid it altogether. The legs are the most prevalent site for DVT.

Why is Post Thrombotic Syndrome a problem?

Leg ulcers and leg soreness are both possible side effects of PTS. These signs and symptoms could linger for years or even your entire life. PTS might make it challenging to do things you normally enjoy, such as walking or standing. PTS and PTS ulcers are costly and time-consuming to treat.

PTS occurs in 20-40% of individuals after a lower extremity DVT episode, making it a common consequence. One out of every ten patients will get severe PTS, which can result in leg ulcers.

Factors that can increase risks of acquiring PTS:

  • - If you're over 65 and have a blood clot in your deep veins above the knee (a condition called proximal DVT)
  • Have at least two blood clots in the same leg
  • Have blood clot symptoms one month after being diagnosed with a blood clot
  • Being extremely overweight
  • Have difficulties maintaining your blood thinner levels steady throughout the first three months of treatment
  • Can I get PTS soon after my blood clot?

    It's difficult to say who will get PTS and who won't, although it can happen anywhere between six months and two years after a blood clot forms in the leg.

    Mechanism of developing symptoms (including ulcer) in PTS?

    To avoid severe damage, a DVT must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Once the valves and walls of the vein have been damaged, they cannot be restored.

    The presence of vein valves is required to guarantee that blood flows upward into the heart. They are extremely fragile and are easily damaged. Blood can flow in the wrong direction when valves are broken. This is referred to as reflux. It causes swelling and discomfort by causing pressure to build up in the veins in the lower region of our legs.

    With a DVT, the vein walls may become damaged and scarred. The flow of blood through our veins increases when we engage in certain physical activities, such as walking. Scarred veins do not expand as well as regular veins, so when blood flow increases and they can't expand, we get a throbbing ache and swelling in our lower legs.

    This can eventually cause harm to the skin on the leg. It becomes dry, discoloured, and itchy around the ankles. It eventually turns brown, hard, and leathery to the touch. A slight abrasion can turn into a larger, non-healing sore. A venous ulcer is a medical term for this.

    The vein might be damaged to the point where it gets completely obstructed in extreme circumstances. It is incapable of allowing any blood to flow through it. This is the most severe kind of PTS.

    Mechanism of PTS

    How Could I Check if I Have PTS?

    The following are the most prevalent indications and symptoms of PTS in the leg caused by a blood clot:

  • Swelling that grows worse after a lengthy period of walking or standing, but improves after resting or lifting the leg
  • Cramping
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Aching or heaviness in your leg or foot
  • Skin that is flaky, dry, or red
  • Bluish or brownish pigmentation in the leg or foot
  • An ulcer (sore) on the leg
  • New varicose veins
  • These issues differ from patient to patient; you may experience all of them or simply a few. These issues may be present all of the time, or the sensations may come and go.

    Is it true having Varicose Vein will increase my chances of getting PTS?

    Varicose veins are small, superficial veins that run just beneath the surface of the skin. Veins can show up for a variety of causes. Even if a person has never had a blood clot, they can develop varicose veins. On the other hand, PTS is caused by blood clots in the valves of the deep veins. You may get varicose veins if you have had a blood clot in your leg. To assess whether you have PTS, your health care physician will search for varicose veins.

    Blood clots can develop in a varicose vein and can travel through muscle branches to the deep venous system and cause Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a risk factor to develop PTS so it is important to consider treating your varicose veins or speak to a vein expert.

    What can I do to prevent PTS?

    Although PTS may be such a long-term issue, prevention is crucial. Some things you can do to avoid PTS are as follows:

    Stop blood clots from forming. PTS is caused by blood clots that damage the leg veins. PTS can be avoided by preventing blood clots.

    Blood clots are more likely in some persons, particularly hospital patients who have just had surgery or are confined to bed. During their stay in the hospital and when they return home, patients are frequently given compression boots, compression stockings, or medication to avoid blood clots. If you're in the hospital and haven't been given any of these medications, ask your doctor if you require blood clot prevention.

    If you've already had a blood clot in your leg, you're at a higher risk of acquiring another one. The best method to avoid a second blood clot is to take your blood thinner medicine as directed and to get your blood tests done according to your doctor's instructions.

    Do not stop taking your blood thinner medication unless your doctor instructs you to. Consider treating varicose veins.

    Treatment & Pain Management for PTS

  • Elevate your legs:
  • PTS discomfort and edoema can often be relieved by properly elevating your leg.

  • Compression:
  • To enhance blood flow and decrease discomfort and swelling, your doctor may prescribe graduated compression stockings or a gadget worn on the leg (or both).

    PTS is a chronic condition that is difficult to diagnose and cure. It usually causes pain and might progress to more serious problems. Given that there is no cure for the disease, it is preferable to take steps to prevent it from ever arising. The objective is to diagnose and treat a DVT as soon as possible. The faster the clot dissolves, the less harm it does to the veins' valves and walls. In high-risk settings for DVT, such as during a hospital stay or on long-haul flights, compression stockings can be used as a prophylactic measure.

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