According to Dr. John Chuback of the Chuback Medical Group in in Bergen County, New Jersey, most people think of aesthetic problems such as varicose veins and spider veins when they consult a leading vein doctor. And in fact, an estimated 24 million Americans have varicose veins. However, there are much more serious conditions that should also be considered and screened for, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
What is DVT?
As the name implies, DVT occurs far below the surface of the skin. When the larger and deeper veins in your legs become diseased and blood pools within them, blood clots may form. Approximately 2 million Americans are affected by DVT. Blood clots impede circulation, and any obstruction to your blood flow can be dangerous to your health. However, the real danger to DVT is that the clots may dislodge from their location in the leg and travel to the lungs. There, blood clots can result in pulmonary embolisms, or PEs. PEs can be deadly; in fact approximately 300,000 Americans die each year from pulmonary embolisms.
Am I at risk for DVT?
Our Bergen County, New Jersey patients often ask us about their personal risk for DVT. It can be difficult to know, because often there are no bulging vein problems that appear because the condition occurs so far below the surface of the skin. If there are any symptoms, they include swelling of the legs, changes in skin color, or when the skin feels warm and tender to the touch. If you are over age 60 and/or are quite tall, if you have a family history of blood clots, or if you have had surgery recently, you may be at increased risk of DVT. Lifestyle factors including obesity, lack of physical activity, cigarette smoking, birth control pills, and the use of hormone replacement therapy are also factors to consider.
However, DVT is particularly disturbing to vein specialists because studies reveal a surprisingly small percentage of Americans ever seek and obtain the treatment they need that could detect and prevent DVT. That is a major part of the reason for DVT Awareness Month in March – to help our patients become more aware of this serious, but treatable condition.
What should I do if I am concerned about DVT?
Feel free to make an appointment at Chuback Medical Group in Bergen County, New Jersey. Dr. Chuback is a leading vein doctor who can carry out a professional venous screening using state-of-the-art Doppler ultrasound to examine the deep veins of your legs and determine if any blood clots have formed in them. There are additional tests that can indicate whether you are likely to develop blood clots, all of which are painless and quick. If it is determined that you have or are at risk for DVT, there are anti-clotting medications you can take to prevent clot development. Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT treatment) by a laser expert is an effective technique to remove existing clots.
March is National DVT Awareness month, and we encourage your and your loved ones’ participation. As DVT is a potentially life-threatening condition, if you have any concerns about DVT it’s worth scheduling an appointment today for a consultation. You can reach Dr. Chuback at 201.430.2737, and we look forward to meeting you.