If you have been diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), then you may be scared about what this means. Vascular surgery can be scary, but there are a number of treatments that can be used to minimize the risk of an embolus developing. Keep reading to learn about two of the more common ones.
Blood Thinner Medication
DVTs are blood clots that form in the deep veins of the body and the majority of them develop within the legs. These clots can build over time, and they may travel to the lungs from the heart if a portion of the clot becomes dislodged. Also, you can develop something called post-thrombotic syndrome, where pain, varicose veins, and swelling become an issue.
To control this issue, your doctor may prescribe blood thinner medications. These medicines stop the clot from getting bigger and causing a greater issue. Some of the common medicines prescribed include Warfarin and Xarelto. These medicines are also a good choice for stopping clots from forming elsewhere in the body.
Unfortunately, some people cannot take blood thinners, so speak with your doctor if you are at risk of bleeding or if you have some sort of bleeding or clotting disorder. Also, you may not be able to take a blood thinner if you are already taking a medication that would interfere with the way the medicine works. Special diets are often required when on these medicines too, so this is something to consider.
If there is a concern of the blood clot moving, like if you have experienced a DVT before that has contributed to a stroke or pulmonary embolism, then your physician may not want to leave the clot alone. Therapy may be used to dissolve the clot, or you may be fitted with something called an IVC filter. This device is a small filter that is placed into the inferior vena cava.
The filter acts to catch or collect the clot before it can make its way into the heart and then elsewhere into the body.
While this procedure is one that does require surgery, it is a minimally invasive one that uses a catheter to access the blood vessel and also to secure the filter in place. Most individuals can expect to have the procedure performed as an outpatient procedure.
If you want to know more about DVTs and how treatments can be used to treat them, speak with a vascular surgeon.