The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that roughly one million people in the US each year are affected by DVT, or, deep vein thrombosis, and PE, a pulmonary embolism. Though DVT is a concerning condition, PE is a stronger threat, and one that can have dire consequences.
If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms in your legs, ankles and feet, Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC, who leads our team at Premier Vein and Vascular in Tampa and Largo, Florida, can help you. As many people are affected by DVT each year, Dr. Saiyad is knowledgeable and thorough when diagnosing and treating this condition.
Your legs are filled with veins that bring deoxygenated blood back to the heart to be refreshed with oxygen and nutrients that feed your body. Your veins send blood up from the lower part of your body using valves that exist within your veins. The valves are responsible for keeping blood flowing in the correct direction.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons that include age and overall health, these valves weaken, or fail entirely. This can cause blood to move very slowly, sometimes pooling in your veins and causing the twisted, bulging sign of varicose veins. In some cases, weakened valves can lead to a thrombus, or blood clot. If this blood clot appears in a vein located deep in your muscle, it’s a deep vein thrombosis.
DVT isn’t usually a life-threatening condition. Without treatment, it can continue to hamper blood flow as well as manifest uncomfortable symptoms, but it’s unlikely to put you in serious danger. That clot, however, can break free of its original place in your leg and move into a vein in your lung. This is pulmonary embolism, a more serious, potentially lethal condition.
A DVT typically forms in the legs, though they can congeal in other parts of the body. Sitting for long periods of time is a known risk factor for this type of blood clot, but other risk factors include:
Another huge risk factor for DVT is nicotine use, which also elevates your risk for a number of health issues, including cancers of the mouth and throat, tooth decay, and hypertension.
A DVT generates symptoms, though an estimated 30% of people living with this condition experience none at all. Typical symptoms of DVT include:
If you’re at risk for DVT, and experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get in touch with your provider at Premier Vein & Vascular as soon as possible. With a consultation that includes thorough testing, we’ll be able to find any possible issues with your arteries. This will enable us to fully treat any vascular conditions you may have, including any DVT.
Treating your DVT involves working closely with Dr. Saiyad at Premier Vein & Vascular, and some due diligence on your part. You may be prescribed blood thinners, which helps the clot dissolve over time.
At home, follow a regular exercise routine that includes your calves, wear compression socks, stay hydrated, and make sure to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every hour if you’re sitting for long periods of time. Dr. Saiyad may recommend other gentle therapies to keep your blood flow as healthy as possible.
We’re sorry to hear that you may be having issues with your legs, but Dr. Saiyad can help you protect the strength and health of your legs, and your ability to walk without difficulty. If you have any symptoms or risk factors of DVT, give Dr. Saiyad a call to schedule a consultation or use our online system to book an appointment today.