Blood vessels carrying oxygen-enriched blood from the heart to the organs are called arteries, and those that carry carbon-rich blood from the organs to the heart are veins. A thrombus is a blood clot in a blood vessel that partially or completely interferes with blood flow. A disease in which clots form in the blood is called thrombosis. Most often, thrombi form in the veins of the legs. However, they can form in other parts of the body, for example, in the region of the anus, the blood vessels of the hands or the brain.
- Swelling of the affected leg.
- Pain in the leg.
Causes of the disease
Thrombosis occurs under the influence of three factors:
- The first factor: inside, the blood vessels are lined with a thin layer of connective tissue, the so-called endothelium. Due to damage to the endothelium (due to mechanical effects, or, more often, blood vessel disease or the natural aging process), substances contributing to the formation of clots enter the bloodstream.
- The second factor: the process of blood clotting affects the speed of blood flow - the slower the blood flow, the faster the blood clots are formed. Therefore it is understandable why vein thrombosis is most common - after all, the blood moves much more slowly through the veins in the artery.
- The third factor: finally, the coagulability of blood plays an important role. The fact is that there must be an equilibrium between the substances that contribute to blood coagulation and substances that dilute it. Violation of this balance (for example, as a result of taking certain medications) leads to thrombosis.
As a rule, the development of the disease is due to two or all of these factors, although it happens that only one of them plays a decisive role.
Removal of thrombi by surgery is rarely done. Most often with this diagnosis the patient should strictly observe bed rest, he is prescribed medications that dissolve blood clots. First of all, these funds are aimed at preventing a dangerous complication - pulmonary embolism. The fact is that there can be a separation of the clot from the vessel wall and its transfer with the blood flow into the pulmonary arteries. This condition poses a real threat to the life of the patient, as pulmonary circulation is disturbed and the load on the heart considerably increases.
It is necessary to try to reduce the risk of developing thrombosis. The presence of predisposing factors complicates the situation. Thrombosis of the deep veins of the legs is often observed in smokers and women taking hormonal contraceptives.
As a rule, the harbingers of thrombosis are pain in the legs. In addition, the affected leg is highly swollen. Noticing such symptoms, it is necessary to see a doctor.
Examination of the patient and his reaction to pressing certain points located on the affected leg, allow the doctor to assume the presence of thrombosis. To clarify the diagnosis, the doctor will conduct additional studies, for example, Doppler sonography, phlebography (will take pictures of leg veins using radiopaque substances).
Course of the disease
In most cases, with early diagnosis and timely treatment, thrombosis is cured. If the clot does not completely dissolve, then the venous blood flow is restored, but often there is a breakdown of small valves of the veins, which leads to an irreversible dysfunction of the veins. Sometimes the lumen of the vein is clogged, and then the blood flows along the nearby (collateral) veins.
Bacteria can also cause this ailment. Sometimes thrombosis of veins of the brain or venous sinuses is a complication of a purulent infection of the face or inflammation of the middle ear. Therefore purulent infection of the upper part of the face must be treated cautiously; You can not squeeze out abscesses, as this can lead to infection of the underlying tissues.
To reduce the risk of developing pulmonary embolism after surgery or severe illness, bed rest should be observed for two weeks. Physical exercises are also recommended.