Q: I have had a deep vein thrombosis in the past, and now my leg is having problems. Is this related?
A: You may be experiencing postphlebitic syndrome. Scar tissue can develop within the vein system after a blood clot has formed and block the blood flow in the vein. The vein's main job is to drain the blood away from the leg and back to the heart. If the blockage prevents flow, then pressure can form and lead to symptoms. These include pain, pressure, heaviness, difficulty walking, unilateral leg swelling, darkening and thickening of the skin, formation of sores and wounds that don't heal near the ankle.
For many years, physicians had limited options for therapy for this condition, often using blood thinners. This treatment doesn't correct the functional blood flow problem and only prevents new blood clots. Today there are many new techniques to re-establish blood flow in the blocked veins, relieving symptoms and improving the clinical situation.
Being evaluated by a vascular surgeon who specializes in this disease process can diagnose the exact issue and potentially offer a therapy to improve your situation even if the DVT happened years ago.
— Dr. Chris LeSar, Vascular Institute of Chattanooga; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society