Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) causes pain and swelling, usually in the leg, due to the development of a blood clot in on or more of the body’s deep veins. This condition can be caused by any number of factors that prevent the blood from circulating and clotting normally. Often, DVT develops due to specific medical conditions that affect the way blood clots. DVT can also be caused by prolonged periods of inactivity, such as after surgery or bed rest, since the calf muscles under these conditions do not contract to help blood circulate.

In addition to these causes of deep vein thrombosis, there are several other factors that put a person at a higher risk for developing this condition. These factors include:

  • Age – While DVT can occur at any age, those who are 60 and older are more likely to develop DVT
  • Lifestyle – Those who are obese and/or smoke are at an increased risk of developing DVT
  • Birth control pills – The use of oral contraceptives as well as other hormonal medication can increase the blood’s ability to clot
  • Pregnancy – The added pressure on the veins in the legs and pelvis increases a woman’s risk of DVT for up to six weeks after delivery
  • Bowel diseases – Those with diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have a greater risk of DVT
  • Cancer – Certain kinds of cancer as well as certain cancer treatments make the blood more likely to clot

If you are experiencing swelling or pain in your leg, especially if you are at a higher risk of DVT, consult with a physician for a proper diagnosis. The physicians at Tampa General Hospital can treat deep vein thrombosis as well as other vascular disorders. To be referred to a specialist with Tampa General Hospital, please visit our online Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).