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    Blood Clots in the Leg Veins - Topic Overview

    Blood clots can happen in veins. A blood clot in a vein close to the skin isn't likely to cause problems. But having blood clots in deep veins is called deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis happens most often in the legs. This problem can lead to a blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism).

    The deep veins of the leg have different terms to describe their location:

    Recommended Related to DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

    Understanding DVT: An Overview

    A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a vein inside a muscle. Usually it's in a lower leg, thigh, pelvis, or arm. "Typically, a person calls saying, 'I've had 3 or 4 days of swelling in one of my legs, and it won't go down,'" says Terri Remy, MD, of Primary Care Alexandria in Virginia. Symptoms usually include swelling and sometimes pain and tenderness. But you won't always have them.

    Read the Understanding DVT: An Overview article > >

    • Upper (proximal) leg veins are those above the knee but below the waist.
      • Popliteal veins are located behind the knee.
      • Iliac and femoral veins are in the groin area.
    • Lower (distal) leg veins are those below the knee.
      • Distal leg veins are located in the calf and ankle.

    A person with a blood clot in a deep upper (proximal) leg vein is at increased risk for a blood clot in the lung or other complications.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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