Early diagnosis of von Willebrand disease (VWD) is important to make sure that you're treated and can live a normal, active life.
Sometimes VWD is hard to diagnose. People who have type 1 or type 2 VWD may not have major bleeding problems. Thus, they may not be diagnosed unless they have heavy bleeding after surgery or some other trauma.
On the other hand, type 3 VWD can cause major bleeding problems during infancy and childhood. So, children who have type 3 VWD usually are diagnosed during their first year of life.
To find out whether you have VWD, your doctor will review your medical history and the results from a physical exam and tests.
Your doctor will likely ask questions about your medical history and your family's medical history. He or she may ask about:
Your doctor will do a physical exam to look for unusual bruising or other signs of recent bleeding. He or she also will look for signs of liver disease or anemia (a low red blood cell count).
No single test can diagnose VWD. Your doctor may recommend one or more blood tests to diagnose the disorder. These tests may include:
You may have these tests more than once to confirm a diagnosis. Your doctor also may refer you to a hematologist to confirm the diagnosis and for followup care. A hematologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating blood disorders.
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