Capitol Vein Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Proactive Treatment Helps Reduce the Risk of Blood Clots

One of the reasons Dr. Paul McNeill and Dr. Garth Rosenberg advocate proactive treatment for varicose veins is that enlarged, dilated veins allow blood to pool and become stagnant. When blood doesn't move, it's far more likely to clot. While most people are more familiar with the dangers of clots deep in the veins (Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT), blood clots in superficial veins - or phlebitis - also cause problems.

How do clots form? Healthy veins prevent blood from clotting inside them by releasing natural blood thinners from the cells lining the veins. When veins are of normal caliber, the blood must naturally move through the circulatory system, and the constant movement prevents the blood from clotting. In a dilated varicose vein, the blood doesn't move as quickly; additionally, the lining of the varicose vein is often scarred or diseased, and has lost its natural clot-preventing capability.

Many patients - including the one pictured here - come to us because they're experiencing symptoms of phlebitis, not because they have varicose veins. However, varicose veins are often the cause of the superficial clot in the first place and need to be treated to prevent further episodes of phlebitis - or worse, deep vein thrombosis.

The typical workup for vein problems includes a consultation with one of our physicians, a duplex ultrasound to determine the health of the leg veins, and a follow-up appointment to plan care. Typically, we perform the VNUS Closure procedure (Venefit) for the refluxing trunk vein and microphlebectomy for varicose veins. Sclerotherapy can be performed on smaller veins.

To have your veins evaluated before they are associated with a blood clot, make an appointment in one of our offices, located in Frederick, MD; Bethesda, MD; Leesburg, VA; or Charles Town, WV.


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