Deep vein thrombosis can develop into something more serious suddenly and without warning, especially if you haven’t been keeping tabs on your vascular health. Knowing your risk factors can help you protect yourself against a potentially fatal event.
At Apex Endovascular, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Shawn Ahmed provides vascular health support as well as interventional vascular care to safeguard you against dangerous conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT is a condition caused when a blood clot develops in a deep leg vein. If the blood clot breaks free and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs, it can get stuck and obstruct blood flow and your airway, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
Deep vein thrombosis may not cause any symptoms until a clot breaks free. However, some early signs may develop, usually in the calf of the leg. These include:
A pulmonary embolism in progress can present as dizziness, sudden-onset shortness of breath, and/or intense chest pain. These symptoms mean you should call 9-1-1 immediately for life-saving care.
There are many risk factors for deep vein thrombosis. Five of the most significant are:
DVT is more likely to affect people over 60, but it can occur at any age, especially if you have multiple risk factors.
If you’ve had a DVT or pulmonary embolism event in the past, your risk for another event is heightened. Surgical patients are also at increased risk for DVT if they can’t get up and walk around.
If a close relative has suffered from DVT, your own risk can be as much as double. Make sure you’re including familial medical history in your own medical records.
Risk for DVT is higher for people who are obese, even if they’re younger, and can also increase the risk of repeated events. Losing weight and staying active can help you reduce your risk.
One of the biggest risk factors for DVT is smoking. Smoking affects blood coagulation and can contribute to the formation of deep blood clots. If you’re a smoker, take steps to quit now.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of DVT. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and staying active can all minimize risk factors associated with DVT.
If you notice any symptoms, seek help immediately, as fast action in treating DVT may be able to head off a potential pulmonary embolism. Dr. Ahmed can remove a problematic blood clot in a fast, minimally invasive, outpatient surgery procedure at Apex Endovascular.
Want to learn more about DVT? Give us a call at 970-508-8439, or book a consultation online today.