You usually won't have time to make any special preparations for a doctor appointment to diagnose deep vein thrombosis. DVT is considered a medical emergency, so it's important to get evaluated quickly.
If you do have time before your appointment, it's a good idea to prepare some information. Here's how you can help get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to deep vein thrombosis.
- Write down key personal information, especially if you have a family history of blood-clotting disorders.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Be prepared to discuss if you've had any hospitalizations, illnesses, surgery or trauma within the past three months, or if you've recently been traveling for more than six hours at one time.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For deep vein thrombosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests will I need?
- What's the best treatment?
- What's an appropriate level of physical activity for me now that I've been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis? What about once my clot is gone?
- Will I need to restrict my physical activity or travel plans?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
July 03, 2014
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have you been inactive lately, such as sitting or lying down for long periods?
- Do your symptoms bother you all the time, or do they come and go?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, makes your symptoms improve?
- Does anything worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have a family history of health problems related to blood clots?
- Deep vein thrombosis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dvt/. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- Focus on blood clots. Vascular Disease Foundation. http://vasculardisease.org/deep-vein-thrombosis-venous-disease/ (http://vasculardisease.org/flyers/focus-on-blood-clots-flyer.pdf). Accessed April 1, 2014.
- DVT/PE Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/facts.html. Accessed April 5, 2014.
- Xarelto (prescribing information). Titusville, N.J.: Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2011. http://www.xarelto.com. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Lip GY, et al. Treatment of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- McBane RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 24, 2014.