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Care for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Why Choose Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) at University of Colorado Hospital?

At University of Colorado Hospital, vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists work together to provide the best treatment for their patients with Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.

We offer the most effective medical treatments for DVT, as well as advanced catheter and laser technologies.

Medical Team

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Specialists

Interventional radiologists - a doctor who specializes in minimally invasive, targeted treatments using imaging for guidance.

Vascular surgeon - a doctor who specializes in surgery to correct problems in the veins and arteries.

Wound care specialists - doctors, nurses and physical therapists who specialize in promoting healing and providing education in the care of chronic and acute wounds.


Other Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Staff

Radiology technician - a health care professional who creates radiographic images of the body which help to diagnose and treat illnesses.

Clinical nurse specialist - an advanced practice nurse whose care focuses on a specific patient population.


DVT tests detect blood clots that may pose a risk to your health.

Infrared light

This test detects the presence of blood leakage from vessels into surrounding tissues.

Muscle pump

This test squeezes blood out of the veins and measures the amount of time the vein takes to refill.


Ultrasound tests use a wand that emits painless, high-frequency sound waves that are captured visually and show how well blood is flowing through the veins.

CT scan

This test uses multi-angle X-rays to show pictures of an affected vein. The pictures allow your doctor to identify areas of poor blood flow.


Uses contrast dye to show the veins more clearly on X-ray.


Blood Thinners

Your doctor may prescribe blood thinnners to stop the progression of a clot. These thinners can be short-acting or long-acting. Long-acting thinners need time to take effect; in the interim, your doctor will administer low molecular weight heparin as a “bridge” thinner.


Your doctor may choose to dissolve the clot with a long, thin tube called a catheter. The catheter is threaded through a vein to the clot. The clot is then infused with a naturally occurring substance, known as a lysing (loosening) agent, which helps to break up the clot.


Your doctor may decide to surgically place a filter in the main vein of your abdomen to catch a clot if it breaks loose if:

  • Your DVT is chronic
  • Your DVT is recurring
  • You cannot take blood thinners

The filter prevents the clot from lodging in your lung (a pulmonary embolism) that may threaten your life.

Patient Education

Living With Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

If you have had a deep vein clot before, you can minimize your risks of future clots by:

  • Taking anti-clotting medications prescribed by your doctor
  • Taking blood tests and having your medications checked regularly

If you are at risk for developing a clot, you can help to prevent one by:

  • Exercising your lower leg muscles, especially when you have to sit for a long time
  • Moving around as soon as possible after you have been bedridden for surgery or illness
  • Taking anti-clotting medications prescribed by your doctor after surgery
  • Taking blood tests and having your medications checked regularly

Getting a Second Opinion about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

The doctors and staff of the Cardiac & Vascular Center are happy to provide second opinions for patients who have symptoms of or are diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis.

Additional Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Resources

American Venous Forum (patient portal)


Deep Vein Thrombosis

DVT at a Glance

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot develops deep in the veins of the leg.

These clots usually form below the knee, but can also develop above the knee. They can cause discomfort due to the inadequate blood flow.

These clots can be dangerous, because they may significantly slow down the flow of blood to the heart, or they may break loose and lodge in the heart or lung.

A 2002 survey from the American Public Health Association found that 74% of U.S. adults knew little or nothing about DVT. This is an alarming number, considering every year 2 million people get deep vein thrombosis and up to 200,000 of them die from it.

Illustration: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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