Veins are blood vessels, much like thin tubes, that systematically carry blood toward the heart and lungs. And it’s not vain to be concerned about the veins that run through our physiological system.
So hearing the term “blood clot” clot in the context of your vascular health can be very alarming. It can signal that you may have deep vein thrombosis. What is DVT? First, let’s break it down and clarify that there are two sets of veins in the arms and legs: the superficial (surface) veins and the deep veins. If blood moves too slowly through your veins, or pools somewhere deep inside the body, it can cause a clump of blood cells called a clot. When a blood clot develops in the deep veins of an arm, or more likely a leg, this is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which affects up to 900,000 Americans each year.
How Do I Know If I Have Deep Vein Thrombosis?
DVT symptoms may not initially “feel” obvious but they are noticeable (if you’re paying attention) and require a medical diagnosis. Symptoms include pain and heaviness in the thigh, leg, calf or foot; swelling that comes without notice; tenderness, warm or discolored skin; and soreness when standing or walking.
DVT causes or risk factors are numerous and they include:
- Age greater than 40
- Immobility from sitting or lying down for prolonged periods, making it harder for proper blood circulation
- Inactivity after a surgery
- Obesity with a body mass index (BMI) over 30
- Hormone therapy and pregnancy, as carrying extra weight can put more pressure on the veins in the legs and pelvis
- Injury to the vein
- Other serious health issues such as heart disease and cancer
- Certain inherited blood disorders that cause blood to be thicker than normal
Lam Vascular & Associates can help you take charge of deep vein thrombosis. You may be asked to take blood thinners as prescribed or wear compression socks to help reduce the risk that a portion of the clot breaks off and travels to other parts of the body—especially the lungs. This is a serious DVT complication: If the clot breaks away and flows through the bloodstream to the lungs, it leads to a life-threatening and potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism. Fortunately, emergency treatment exists with blood thinners or stronger anticoagulants or thrombolytics that greatly reduce the threat of pulmonary embolism.
Deep vein thrombosis does not discriminate and affects about two of every 1,000 people, celebrities such as superstar tennis phenom Serena Williams and media mogul Regis Philbin among them.
DVT is a serious condition and the goal is to stop the blood clot cold in its tracks from spreading. At Lam Vascular & Associates, we are here to alleviate pain and save your legs. We want to help you return to the quality of life you deserve so you can enjoy activities you like to do. We also diagnose and treat unsightly and painful varicose veins if you are experiencing problems in this area.
Trust your legs to Lam Vascular & Associates. We specialize in minimally-invasive, same-day vascular surgery. For your comfort and convenience, we have locations in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas. Click here or call 214.345.4160 to schedule an initial appointment and/or screening to get a leg up on your health.
The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.