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
Doctors have several ways to treat a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The most common treatment is a drug called a blood thinner. Blood thinners are also called anticoagulants.
These drugs stop the clot from getting bigger. They also help prevent it from breaking off and moving to the lungs. And they prevent other clots from forming.
Blood thinners don’t break down the clot itself. The body does that over time.
Upper (proximal) leg veins are those above the
knee but below the waist.
Popliteal veins are located behind the
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
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
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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