Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a deep, larger vein of the lower leg or arm. It can lead to serious and even life-threatening problems if the clot travels to the lungs, which is known as a pulmonary embolism. Clots near the skin or in surface veins rarely cause serious problems, but deep vein thrombosis requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include swelling, redness, pain in one arm or leg, chest pain, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. Deep vein thrombosis also can lead to long-lasting problems, such as vein damage that causes the leg to swell, ache, and change color. Blood clots most often form in the calf and thigh veins, and they tend to happen when a person is inactive or sitting for extended periods, such as on a long flight or car trip.


UAB Medicine’s vascular specialists provide expert treatment of all types of circulatory conditions using a broad range of services, including medical therapy, minimally invasive endovascular procedures, and open surgical reconstruction. Our specialty-trained surgeons and physicians are leaders in their field and have excellent track records in treating some of the most complex vascular diseases and conditions. That expertise is backed by the latest and most advanced technology, facilities, and treatment options, as well as our dedication to patient-centered care. A wide range of specialists work together through the UAB Advanced Limb Preservation program to prevent the need for amputation, preserve maximum function in the lower limbs in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), and treat associated medical conditions such as diabetes.

Our vascular experts confer extensively with each patient to determine a specific diagnosis and treatment plan based on medical history, physical exam, and a variety of non-invasive testing that includes ultrasound, Doppler with plethysmography, CT scans, and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). We also employ three-dimensional overlay fusion technology, in which pre-operative imaging is overlaid with images captured during surgery, providing greater accuracy and improved outcomes. In addition, we maintain an operating room designed specifically for vascular therapies, where we perform “hybrid” procedures that combine both open surgery and minimally invasive endovascular techniques and maximize the benefits of both.

As a major academic medical center, UAB maintains an active research program that also manages clinical trials. Our commitment to innovation and discovery often means that patients have access to advanced new treatments long before they are available to the general public.




UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of deep vein thrombosis. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials