DVT Awareness; this article is about a serious disease that is not being taken as seriously as it should be by the majority of Americans. When most people hear the words “vein disease,” they think of varicose veins or spider veins, and with good reason, because these conditions afflict an estimated 24 million Americans. But as unpleasant as varicose veins are, they are not considered life threatening. Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is life threatening.
DVT is a more serious condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs causing pain and swelling in the lower extremity. DVT is a dangerous medical condition because these blood clots can break loose from where they formed and travel through the veins to the lungs, where they can cause a pulmonary embolism, or PE. More Americans die every year from DVT and PEs than die from AIDS, breast cancer, and automobile accidents combined.
What should our Paramus, NJ patients know about the risk factors for DVT?
A number of factors increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, including obesity, having given birth within the last six months, recent surgery, long periods of bed rest, fractures to the bones in the legs or pelvis, and a family history of blood clots. Other factors that increase your risk of developing DVT include smoking cigarettes, having had diseases such as cancer or lupus, and taking birth control pills or undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Inactivity – sitting for long periods of time at a desk or in cramped airline seats while traveling – can also increase one’s risk of DVT, especially if you also have one or more of the other risk factors.
What are the symptoms of DVT, and how is it diagnosed?
First, you should understand that not all cases of DVT present themselves with easily recognizable symptoms, and that the only sure way to know if you have a DVT is to get a venous ultrasound. These screenings are fast, painless, and non-invasive, and specialists such as Dr. John Chuback can quickly detect the presence of blood clots using venous ultrasound.
Classic symptoms of DVT that you might be able to detect yourself include pain, swelling, and redness in the legs. If a blood clot has formed in one of the deep veins, it may also cause the surface skin in that area to feel warm to the touch, or to turn a reddish color. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, especially if you fall into one of the high-risk categories discussed above, call Dr. Chuback at 201.430.2737 to set up an appointment for a screening.
If a screening finds that I have DVT, what then?
At the Chuback Medical Group, we have the experience and the state-of-the-art technology to treat DVT and to help prevent its reoccurrence. If blood clots have formed in your veins, the first step of treatment is pharmaceutical, using anti-coagulant drugs that prevent new clots from forming, plus wearing compression stockings to improve blood flow.
Don’t be one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have DVT and don’t know it – get a venous health examination today, and set your mind at ease.