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Vascular Surgery

Could this be a DVT?

03/18/2008

Question:

I have a question. I have been experiencing swelling of the calf, warmth in that region, heaviness and weird numbness with a painful tingling sensation along with extreme pain in the calf/thigh region that is painful to the touch. I have been getting very dizzy with these symptoms and it was very painful just to try to pull my foot towards leg/knee area. When this happened, I tried to lay down, but the pain got worse and I started getting weird/very fast fluttering/heartbeats in my chest. I do not have anxiety or any stress related problems and I am an otherwise healthy 42 year old.

I have had symptoms of a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary Embolism) before, but by the time I was able to get to the Emergency Room (months later- I had no insurance) the doppler showed no signs of a clot. They did not perform a lung scan and basically blew me off - that is why I did not go to the ER this time- (Male ER doctors tend to treat females like 3rd class citizens, even if you have a serious health problem)

The symptoms have gotten better and it`s been 4 days- so I was wondering weather I am out of the woods or should I go to an imaging center to see if they can do a quick scan of my leg just in case?

My mother did pass away from a blood clot to her brain and my sister almost died from an AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) and a DVT, so this is why I`m asking.

Answer:

Hello. I would suggest you see your physician for a physical examination at which point consideration could be given to doing an ultrasound of the veins. There could be a deep or superficial vein clot present from what you are describing.

As an aside, the ER is a very poor place to have non-emergent problems addressed however - at least in the U.S. - the ER is routinely abused in this fashion. Both genders can expect to receive a less than an open arms welcome when coming in with a problem that has been going on for months. There are free care clinics available throughout the US in every major city which can be accessed by giving the local county health care department a call. This is by far and away a better means of obtaining healthcare. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated