Post-Thrombotic Syndrome

What is it?

Post-thrombotic syndrome is a chronic pathologic condition characterized by altered venous return that can occur as a result of complications of deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities. After a venous thrombosis, there is increased pressure in the circulation of the veins resulting in fluid accumulation in the lower extremities. People with obesity, leg trauma, thrombophilia, or repeated episodes of thrombosis are at risk for postthrombotic syndrome. Old age is also a risk factor. The syndrome occurs more often in women.

Which are the symptoms?

The main characteristic symptom of this syndrome is swelling of the lower limbs, which worsens when the person is standing. Swelling may be unilateral or more on one side than the other. Patients may also experience a feeling of heaviness in the legs, fatigue, pain, cramping, tingling and ulcers that can become infected and very painful, and recurrent varicose veins in the lower extremities, and in some cases pelvic varicose veins.

  • Leg pain       
  • Swelling and burning in the legs       
  • Protruding veins       
  • Feeling of heaviness in the legs       
  • Night cramps       
  • Itching legs       
  • Venous ulcer

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis is based primarily on the patient's objective examination and medical history. With imaging examinations, it is possible to define the location of the venous return obstruction point and the severity of venous insufficiency.

Suggested exams

How is it treated?

The treatment aims to decompress and re-channel the venous blood pathway, facilitating the return of blood to the heart. It can be performed by open surgery, but in modern centers, with the advancement of endovascular technique (angioplasty and venous stent implantation), such technique is currently the main modality.

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