Many vascular conditions can be dangerous to your health, and deep venous thrombosis is not an exception. This occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of your veins. If it breaks loose and travels to your lungs, you could develop a pulmonary embolism, which is a life-threatening condition. Fortunately, you can act before it’s too late. Dr. Raymond M Shaheen at Advanced Biosculpt and Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA, can treat DVT effectively.
He will first assess you and confirm the diagnosis, then administer you the correct medication to break up the clots. What’s more, he can give you some tips about recovering from the condition and preventing its occurrence in the future. Today, let’s have a closer look at DVT, the symptoms, the risk factors, and how your doctor can help you to avoid any long-term damage.
How Serious Is Deep Venous Thrombosis?
DVT happens when the blood in one or several of your veins starts to clot and build up, for example, because your blood flow has slowed down, you have an injury to the vein, or the makeup of your blood has changed to make it clot more easily. As such, there are several risk factors, including your age, your lifestyle choices, and the length of time spent sitting or lying down.
Although the initial symptoms might simply be irritating, the consequences of DVT can be severe. If the blood clot breaks off from its location in your leg and travels to your lungs, it can get stuck there. This condition, called pulmonary embolism, can cost you your life. For this reason, you should never leave DVT symptoms untreated, and you’ll need to seek out your specialist as soon as you notice any indications of a problem.
There are several ways you can tell you might have DVT. In particular, look out for any changes to your lower limbs. Although the issue can crop up in other areas of the body, it is most common in your calves, so you should keep an eye on them if you’re in one of the risk groups. DVT usually affects only one of your legs, so uneven symptoms in either calf could be a strong indicator of this condition.
When you notice any swelling or a change in your calf’s color, get in touch with Dr. Shaheen and his team immediately. Similarly, an unexplained cramp could be a sign that you are suffering from DVT. If you get cramps regularly, pay attention to changing symptoms or a prolonged cramp you can’t get rid of. What’s more, warm skin and sore veins should also be addressed, as they could also indicate vascular problems.
Permanent Risk Factors
Not every person is equally likely to develop this condition, so you should pay particular attention to your legs if you fall into any of the risk groups. People over the age of 60 or those who are overweight are typically more likely to suffer from DVT. What’s more, several lifestyle factors can make you more susceptible. If you smoke, your vascular system is already stressed, and the same is true for people who have had heart failure or cancer.
Similarly, those with varicose veins should also be careful, and women who are on the pill or HRT might be more susceptible. If you’re taking one of these methods of birth control and are worried about your risks of developing the condition, you should speak to a vascular specialist. Dr. Shaheen can let you know how likely you are to develop problems and what you can do to prevent DVT.
Temporary Risk Factors
While there might not be much you can do about the permanent risk factors listed above, you can stay healthy by following some general advice. Usually, deep venous thrombosis occurs when you don’t move your limbs very much, as this could cause the blood to pool. For this reason, many doctors recommend wearing compression stockings during long flights or car journeys, especially if you are older than 60.
The same happens when you are confined to bed due to an operation, illness, or pregnancy. It is always recommended that you move around and break up long sessions of sitting to get your blood flowing. Another factor is dehydration, as your blood will become thicker if it doesn’t contain enough water. This makes clotting more likely.
As mentioned, you should always go to your vascular specialist as soon as you develop any symptoms in your legs. That way, you don’t risk complications. However, you will have to seek out emergency services if your blood clot has already broken.
You will know that this is the case if, in addition to the pain and swelling in your legs, you are suffering from breathlessness and chest pain. In such a case, your life might be in danger, so you need to call 911 and go to the emergency room.
How Can Your Vascular Specialist Help
When you get in touch with Dr. Shaheen, he will ask you to come to the clinic as soon as possible. Before anything else, he will ask you about your symptoms and examine your leg to find out whether you are suffering from DVT. He might also do a scan, which can confirm the diagnosis and help him get a closer look at your blood clot.
Next, he will determine which treatment option works the best for you. Most likely, you will need to take medication for some time to ensure you make a full recovery. Dr. Shaheen will also let you know how you can best recover and what you can do going forward to prevent you from having another episode of DVT.
Medication that Helps
The aim of medication is to stop the blood clot from growing any bigger and to prevent it from breaking apart and traveling through your body to your lungs. For around three months after the occurrence of your deep venous thrombosis, you will take blood thinners. Sometimes, these might need to be supplemented with thrombolytic drugs, which can break up any remaining clots.
In addition, your vascular specialist will recommend several holistic measures that can speed up your recovery and reduce your risk. For instance, they will tell you to elevate your leg as often as you can, wear a compression stocking, and go for walks frequently. If you are still suffering from DVT after these interventions, Dr. Shaheen might need to put a filter inside your vena cava to prevent any clots from entering the lungs.
Once you’ve recovered from the condition, you will be more susceptible to suffering from it again. For this reason, your doctor will speak to you about how you can keep yourself healthy. If you smoke or are overweight, they will suggest some lifestyle changes such as altering your diet or reducing your nicotine intake. You should also make sure to drink more water to keep your blood liquid.
Additionally, you need to avoid long periods of sitting from now on. Every hour or so, take a quick walk around your room and keep elevating your legs for the foreseeable future. Whenever you take a longer trip, you should wear compression stockings.
Recovering from DVT
The body will absorb your blood clot over time, so you can expect an improvement after a few days. Depending on the severity of your condition, you will recover fully within several weeks or months. However, serious DVT can lead to long-term complications like pain and periodic swelling. That’s why you need to see your specialist as soon as you notice the first symptoms, as early intervention can help you heal more quickly.
Get Treated for DVT Today
Deep venous thrombosis is a serious health issue, and you shouldn’t delay getting seen by a vascular specialist if you have any symptoms. In particular, watch out for swelling in your lower legs, severe cramping in one of your limbs, warm skin, and discoloration in the affected area. Any of these could indicate DVT, so you will need to see a specialist as soon as they crop up.
As an expert in vascular conditions, Dr. Shaheen is the best person to visit because he will be able to diagnose you quickly and get you on the road to recovery. There are several ways we can treat DVT and help you prevent it from returning in the future. Get in touch with us now at Advanced Biosculpt and Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA to book your consultation and get treatment.