You came in for a vein evaluation, and it was a good thing you did. During our comprehensive vascular assessment, we found a blood clot in one of the deep veins in your leg, which means you have a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
While numbers are difficult to pin down when it comes to DVT, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that as many as 900,000 people in the United States have a DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE). Together, these blood clots are responsible for between 60,000 and 100,000 deaths each year.
Our goal here at Soffer Health Institute is to help you avoid an unthinkable outcome when you have a vascular problem such as a DVT. To that end, Dr. Ariel Soffer and our team offer expert and comprehensive management and treatment of DVT.
To give you an idea about what your DVT treatment plan may entail, read on.
The dangers of DVT
Before we get into a typical treatment plan for DVT, we feel it’s important to underscore why prompt treatment is necessary. When you have a blood clot in one of the deep veins in your legs, our primary concern is that the clot could break loose and travel up to your lungs and become a pulmonary embolism. As a result of PE, your blood flow can become blocked, which can quickly lead to death.
In fact, DVT/PE is the third most common cause of cardiovascular death in the US, just behind heart attack and stroke.
While you might not consider a DVT diagnosis good news, the fact that we are able to diagnose the problem certainly qualifies.
The most important first step in your treatment for DVT is anticoagulation to thin your blood. These blood thinners don’t get rid of the clot, but they allow the blood in your body to flow more freely, reducing the pressure that might carry a clot to your lungs.
In most cases, a DVT will reduce on its own and become an adhesion on the wall of your vein. Many people with DVT take blood thinners for 3-6 months until the threat of the blood clot has passed. In other cases, however, the blood thinner may be a longer-term treatment, especially if you’re prone to blood clots or you have a cancer diagnosis.
Up to one-third of people with DVT will have a recurrence within 10 years, so frequent vein evaluations will be part of your preventive care moving forward.
What you can do
Once we’ve addressed the immediate threat of your DVT, there are steps you can take to improve the condition.
First and foremost, we urge you to make compression stockings a regular part of your wardrobe.
Other steps you can take are literal — we encourage you to get more exercise so that you build up muscles in your legs that help offset venous conditions and improve circulation.
You should also be mindful of sitting or standing for long periods and endeavor to move or elevate your legs periodically.
Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way when you’re managing DVT, and we’re just a phone call away.
For questions or concerns about managing your blood clot, contact one of our offices in Weston or Aventura, Florida, to set up an appointment.