Knowing you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT) means you can take steps to protect your life. Undetected DVT leads to 60,000-100,000 deaths every year.
If you’ve been diagnosed with DVT, the first thing to do is to partner with specialists who understand the complexities of deep vein thrombosis and have a proven track record of successful management and treatment.
Our board-certified physicians at Rockland Thoracic & Vascular Associates are the go-to experts for DVT patients throughout Washington Heights (Manhattan), Pomona, Goshen, and Fishkill, New York, and Englewood, New Jersey.
Our patient-centered practices offer hope for people with serious venous diseases and effective treatments that enable them to live life to the fullest. Here’s how we approach DVT.
Education is a vital aspect of our services at Rockland Thoracic & Vascular Associates. We believe you’re an integral partner in your own health care, so we involve you in every way possible.
That starts with education. The more you know about your condition, the better you can contribute to your treatments and healing.
In light of that, here’s a rundown on deep vein thrombosis.
First, let’s talk about your veins. When your heart beats, it pushes freshly oxygenated blood through your arteries and out to your extremities. Your veins return the oxygen-depleted blood back to your lungs and heart so the process can repeat.
Your veins have a more challenging job because they have to work against the pull of gravity. Age, obesity, and poor health can damage your veins and the tiny one-way valves inside them, leading to common problems, such as spider and varicose veins.
These conditions affect the superficial veins close to the surface of your skin, and they’re easily seen and treatable.
Damage to the veins deep within your legs and pelvis isn’t always apparent. DVT clots can form without any signs. When symptoms occur, they typically include:
Unfortunately, the first sign of DVT is often the worst — a pulmonary embolism.
Knowing what’s at stake is part of your critical DVT education. If you have an undetected DVT or ignore your diagnosis, you could face some serious complications.
DVT can lead to chronic symptoms in your legs. Blood pools in the damaged veins, resulting in hypertension (high blood pressure), pain, swelling, and leg sores.
A DVT clot that remains in your vein and causes uncomfortable symptoms is preferable to one that breaks apart and sends a piece of the clot through your veins to your lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism; if it happens, the clot can block the blood flow to your lungs and heart — a life-threatening emergency.
If you can’t catch your breath, cough uncontrollably, have sudden chest pain, and/or vomit or spit up blood, seek immediate medical attention.
Preventing DVT begins with understanding your risk factors. You’re more likely than others to develop DVT if you:
If DVT runs in your family or you have a blood-clotting disorder, you’re also at a higher risk for DVT.
Traumatic injuries and orthopedic surgery in your lower body may increase your chances of developing DVT. Get up and walk as soon as possible after surgery or injury to prevent DVT from forming. This improves circulation and reduces your risk.
Treatments for DVT focus on halting the clot’s growth, preventing a PE, and reducing the chance that a second clot will form.
Anticoagulant medications thin your blood and help dissolve clots and stave off the formation of new ones. We also might recommend weight loss, compression stockings, and regular exercise.
You may need surgical intervention if your clot continues to grow. We can place a tiny filter into the vein that leads to your heart to catch the clot should it break free.
If you’re at risk for DVT, we can perform noninvasive tests to check for clots. If you have DVT, we can monitor your vein health and keep you safe. Call us or use our online scheduler to book a consultation with our DVT experts.