Blood clots in the deep leg veins – a condition called deep vein thrombosis — can be deadly if the clots break off and travel to the heart, lungs or brain. But according to a health column in the Herald Times Reporter in Wisconsin, the blood clots can cause lasting health problems even if they remain in the legs.
Dr. Terry L. Gueldner, MD, FACS, RPhS, of the Wisconsin Vein Center in Manitowoc, writes that the clots may initially form a blockage or obstruction to the blood flow in the vein, causing leg pain and swelling.
But over time, the clot scars the vein and destroys the delicate one-way check valves. It may also partially dissolve from the body’s enzymes re-establishing sluggish blood flow. That renders the vein “incompetent,” and may result in pooling of blood in the lower leg, increased vein blood pressure, chronic swelling, pain, skin discoloration and open non-healing sores or ulcers near the ankle.
It also puts the patient at risk of further blood clots and their potentially deadly complications.
Risk factors for blood clots include recent surgery, a family history of blood clots, pregnancy and use of birth control pills. While most birth control pills carry a risk of blood clots, a number of studies show that those with the compound drospirenone increase the risk of clots by as much as three times compared to other oral contraceptives.
According to Gueldner, patients may not even know they’ve had a DVT, but years later develop the signs and symptoms called post phlebitic syndrome.
If a diagnosis of DVT is made early, doctors usually advise the use of blood thinners and compression stockings to prevent further growth of the clot, allowing the body’s own enzymes to break it up.
Doctors may also infuse clot lysis enzymes directly into the clot, or use a mechanical device to help dissolve it.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.
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