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What is DVT?

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a large blood clot that forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body. DVT usually happens in the legs or pelvis, but a clot can form anywhere in your body. Sometimes, part of the blood clot can break off and travel to your lungs. This can block blood flow and cause a pulmonary embolism, which is a serious and potentially deadly condition.

DVT blood clots affect up to 900,000 Americans each year (1)

More people are diagnosed with DVT each year than the number of new breast and prostate cancer cases combined2

More people are diagnosed with DVT each year than the number of new breast cancer and prostate cancer cases combined (2)

What Causes DVT?

DVT happens when your blood cells stick together in a deep vein, forming a blood clot. Anything that keeps your blood from circulating properly can cause a clot, including injury, illness, lack of movement, certain inherited conditions, and lifestyle factors.

Learn about DVT Risk factors
About half of the people with DVT blood clots have no symptoms (3)

DVT Symptoms

It’s important to know that approximately 50% of people with DVT experience no symptoms at all. For people who do have DVT symptoms in the affected body part, the most common ones include:

DVT symptoms include swelling, pain or tenderness, skin that’s warm, and red or discolored skin

If left untreated, DVT can cause serious complications. So if you experience any of these symptoms, please see your doctor as soon as possible.

Talk to your Doctor

From understanding your risk of complications to finding out about your treatment options, our Doctor Discussion Guide has important questions to ask your doctor to help clear up the confusion about DVT.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DVT Presentation Widget. Accessed October 13, 2015.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2015. Accessed October 15, 2015.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Venous Thromboembolism (Blood Clots). Accessed October 13, 2015.