Information for Consumers - Deep Venous Thrombosis (Leg)

This article tells you about deep venous thrombosis and how it is diagnosed, including what imaging tests you may need to have.

What is deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

A DVT is a blood clot that forms in the veins of the body. DVTs usually occur in the veins of the leg. If you have a DVT it is important to have it treated as it may get worse and move through your body into your lungs. This can be dangerous and may occasionally cause death.

Symptoms of DVT are:

  • Pain and swelling in your leg or calf (not always)
  • Calf slightly red or tender to touch


If your doctor thinks you might have a DVT, he/she will discuss signs and symptoms with you. Depending on your signs and symptoms he/she may request a doppler ultrasound. This will help the doctor to decide whether you have a DVT and what type of treatment you need.


A radiology doctor will look at your scans and write a report for your doctor.

Further information

For more detailed information, please access InsideRadiology at:

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A guide to gathering information that you may need for making informed decisions is published by the Consumers' Health Council of Australia at:

If you would like to look at another relevant article, please access the following:

Or access the Diagnostic Imaging Pathways website at:

Or if you have questions or require any further information please contact your doctor or speak to the staff where you are going to have your procedure.

Consumer participation

This information has been reviewed by representatives from the following groups:

  • Aboriginal people
  • People with disabilities
  • Seniors
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse)
  • The Health Consumers' Council


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This article is intended as general information only. The Diagnostic Imaging Pathways team and Radiology Across Borders will not accept any liability arising from its use. The information is kept as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Please be warned that it is always subject to change.


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Date reviewed: July 2017

Date of next review: July 2019