A Comprehensive Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment in Singapore

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The Significance and Function of Veins in the Human Body

Veins are responsible for returning blood from various organs back to the heart, while arteries transport oxygen-rich blood loaded with nutrients away from the heart to different parts of the body. A significant number of veins, especially those found in the arms and legs, possess one-way valves. These valves consist of two flaps which meet at their edges. Blood flowing in the direction of the heart causes these flaps to open, functioning like a pair of swinging doors that only move in one direction. If gravitational forces or muscle contractions attempt to reverse blood flow, or if blood tries to accumulate within a vein, these flaps automatically close, preventing any backward blood movement. Thus, these valves aid in the process of blood return to the heart, opening during blood flow toward the heart and closing when the potential for reverse flow arises.


Deep Veins in the Human Body and Their Vital Role

Veins situated within the body’s depths, are recognized as deep veins. These are notably larger than superficial veins, which are veins located close to the body’s surface. The lower extremities house seven principal deep veins, including the popliteal, peroneal, profunda femoris, common femoral, femoral, anterior tibial, and posterior tibial veins. Their collective role involves transporting a significant portion of the body’s blood volume. Nevertheless, the potential obstruction within these pathways result in severe life-threatening implications. These obstructions give rise to conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where blood clots manifest within these deep veins.


An Overview of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition where a clot forms within a deep vein, often occurring in the legs, thighs, pelvis, and at times, even the arm. The occurrence of DVT in Singapore is not an unusual phenomenon. Should you find yourself afflicted by this ailment, enlisting professional assistance becomes imperative. Singapore offers a plethora of avenues for addressing Deep Vein Thrombosis. However, the significance of consulting a proficient vascular surgeon specializing in DVT cannot be overstated. This is especially critical for individuals grappling with this grave medical condition. By prioritizing precise diagnosis, tailoring treatment strategies to the individual, and extending comprehensive patient care, those contending with DVT can anticipate superlative therapeutic interventions within Singapore. This, in turn, augments the prospects of a successful recuperation journey and an overall enhancement of vascular well-being.


Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis

  1. Swelling and tenderness in limbs: This manifests as calf-originating swelling and tenderness extending towards the thigh and groin in the legs, while in the arms, it begins in the forearm and progresses upwards towards the heart.
  2. Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia): Tachycardia refers to a rapid heartbeat, where the heart beats faster than normal. It’s a condition that warrants attention due to its potential impact on cardiovascular health.
  3. Shortness of breath, either independently or correlated with limb swelling. This signals the necessity for immediate medical care, as it could indicate a pulmonary embolism.

Causes and Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Several factors can contribute to the development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially serious condition where blood clots form within the deep veins. Long periods of immobility, such as during extended flights or travel journeys, increase the risk of DVT. Similarly, after major surgical procedures involving the limbs, pelvis, or abdomen, the risk elevates. Obesity and dehydration are additional risk factors, as are major traumas to the arms or legs. Genetic predisposition to blood clotting is another factor that can cause DVT to arise. Certain conditions like abnormal blood vessel anatomy (such as May-Thurner syndrome or Paget-Schroetter syndrome) and the presence of underlying cancer, which can make blood more prone to clotting (paraneoplastic syndrome), also contribute to the heightened risk of developing DVT.


Diagnostic Strategies for Deep Vein Thrombosis

The process of diagnosing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) relies on maintaining a vigilant level of suspicion, which encompasses a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s risk factor history with the utilization of ultrasound scans that reveal the presence of blood clots within the deep veins. Additional examinations encompass a computed tomography (CT) scan of the pulmonary arteries, which is used to assess the condition’s impact on the pulmonary system and to gauge the potential occurrence of pulmonary embolism (PE).

Furthermore, in cases where a suspicion of PE arises, a ventilation-perfusion scan is used to identify the distribution of air and blood within the lungs, facilitating a more comprehensive assessment of the patient’s well-being. A blood screening process can also be initiated to identify pro-clotting factors, thereby offering deeper insights into the underlying mechanisms contributing to DVT development. In cases where the presence of an underlying malignancy is suspected, a diligent exploration extends to encompassing tumour markers within the blood.

Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis in Singapore

Pharmacological treatments for DVT involve prescribing anticoagulant medications tailored to an individual’s medical history. These medications prevent blood clot formation, dissolve existing clots, and are typically administered for about six months to effectively manage the condition.

For cases of extensive deep vein thrombosis (DVT), wherein the clot extends upwards to involve the thigh and pelvic veins, a combined approach involving minimally invasive mechanical treatments and specific medications might be employed to resolve the clots. Referred to as thrombolysis, this procedure is typically administered within the first two weeks after the onset of DVT and is aimed at dissolving the clots using minimally invasive techniques. Thrombolysis serves as a preventive measure against potential long-term complications of DVT, such as Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS) and venous ulcers in the limbs. Additionally, treatments like the utilization of stents might be employed to uphold the patency of compressed veins.


Strategies for Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis is characterized by blood clots in the veins, is a serious yet preventable medical condition that can lead to disability and even death. A critical complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when a clot breaks off, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can vary in severity. Taking steps like avoiding prolonged bed rest, wearing graduated compression stockings, and consulting a doctor about preventive measures like anticoagulant medication can help mitigate DVT risks. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged sitting, and adhering to personalized medical guidance are essential in reducing the chances of VTE.

Identifying the Need for a Deep Vein Thrombosis Specialist in Singapore

Being vigilant about certain symptoms is crucial, as their worsening could signal a need to consult a vascular surgeon. Swelling and tenderness in limbs, starting from the calf and extending towards the thigh and groin in legs, and from the forearm upwards towards the arms and heart, should be noted. Rapid heartbeat, known as tachycardia, which suggests blood clots in the pulmonary veins, is another symptom to be mindful of. Additionally, shortness of breath, whether occurring independently or in correlation with limb swelling, demands immediate medical attention, as it could signify a potentially serious condition like a pulmonary embolism.

Locating a Deep Vein Thrombosis Specialist in Singapore

Vascular and Interventional Centre is here to address your vascular needs. Our experienced vascular specialists are well-equipped to diagnose conditions and provide personalised treatment plans. You may contact us through +65 6694 6270 or by sending us an e-mail at [email protected].


What is the role of veins in the human body?

Veins play a crucial role in returning blood from various organs back to the heart, while arteries transport oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to different parts of the body.

What are deep veins and their significance?

Deep veins are larger veins located within the body’s depths, responsible for transporting a significant portion of the body’s blood volume. However, their obstruction can lead to severe conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where blood clots form within these deep veins.

What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Symptoms of DVT include calf-originating swelling and tenderness extending towards the thigh and groin in legs, forearm-originating swelling progressing upwards towards the heart in arms, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and shortness of breath, which could indicate a potential pulmonary embolism.

What are the risk factors for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Long periods of immobility, major surgeries involving limbs or abdomen, obesity, dehydration, genetic predisposition to blood clotting, abnormal blood vessel anatomy, and underlying cancer are some of the risk factors contributing to DVT development.

How is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis involves assessing risk factors and using ultrasound scans to detect blood clots. In cases of suspected pulmonary embolism, computed tomography (CT) scans and ventilation-perfusion scans are used. Treatment includes pharmacological interventions with anticoagulant medications and, in extensive cases, minimally invasive mechanical treatments like thrombolysis to dissolve clots and prevent long-term complications.

[1] https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/deep-vein-thrombosis-DVT

[2] https://www.sgvascularctr.com/deep-vein-thrombosis-dvt-what-is-it-and-how-is-it-treated/

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/facts.html

[4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/symptoms-causes

[5] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16911-deep-vein-thrombosis-dvt

[6] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/percutaneous-transcatheter-treatment-of-deep-venous-thrombosis-dvt

[7] https://www.webmd.com/dvt/dvt-surgery-and-procedures

Dr Chen Min Qi profile

Dr. Chen Min Qi is a fellowship-trained Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon who graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2005. He subsequently completed his basic and advanced training in General and Vascular Surgery while obtaining the Member of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCSed) qualification in 2010, and the Master of Medicine (General Surgery) qualification in 2015. Dr Chen was subsequently successful at the fellowship exams obtaining the Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSed) qualification in 2016.

Upon completion of his advanced surgical training, Dr Chen Min Qi joined the newly opened Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) as a specialist in the Vascular Surgery division. In 2018, Dr Chen was awarded the Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) grant from MOH to undergo further subspeciality Vascular training at the internationally renowned St Mary’s Hospital in London, United Kingdom. There Dr Chen gained further experience in surgeries on complex abdominal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, redo open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms following failed EVAR surgeries as well as carotid endarterectomy surgery and lower limb revascularization surgeries.

Upon his return in 2020, Dr Chen Min Qi joined the newly formed Woodlands Health as head of their Vascular service, before joining his current practice at the Vascular and Interventional Centre in January 2023.