Capitol Vein Blog

Monday, June 6, 2011

How Does Deep Vein Thrombosis Impact My Leg Health?

So you’ve been diagnosed with a deep vein blood clot (deep vein thrombosis - or DVT), perhaps related to your varicose veins. What does that mean for the long-term health of your leg?

Certainly a DVT can be a life threatening condition, primarily due to the risk that the clot in your leg will travel to the heart of lungs, causing serious problems. The initial treatment for a DVT may involve clot-busting drugs or blood thinners, which are maintained for up to six months, or even for the rest of your life, based on certain factors that are beyond the scope of this blog.
Once the blood thinner issue has been resolved, the question then becomes one of the effects of the blood clot. DVTs cause damage to the fine one-way valves in the veins, allowing gravitational affects to be magnified and backflow to occur. This, in turn, leads to elevated pressures in the lower leg that can progress to skin changes, pigmentation and even skin ulceration (post thrombotic syndrome).
One of the best ways to help reduce the risk of developing long term leg problems related to the DVT is to wear medical grade support hose. Understanding that these can be somewhat uncomfortable in warm weather, companies have developed some that are more comfortable than what used to be available. The more that support hose are worn, the better your chances of avoiding long term leg problems. Associated with DVTs are varicose veins, and if this is a problem you’ve noticed, evaluation with ultrasound and eventual treatment of the varicose vein condition is also helpful.
We welcome questions or comments on this blog post. If you have varicose veins and would like more information on how to avoid blood clots, please request a consult at one of our Capitol Vein & Laser offices in Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia.


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