All forms of vein disease impair your circulatory system and increase your risk of developing more serious diseases. But some vein diseases are worse than others. One of these is the condition known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
What exactly is DVT, and how could it cause a pulmonary embolism?
DVT occurs when the deep veins in your legs have become damaged or diseased such that thrombi (blood clots) begin to form in them. Thrombus is the term used to refer to a blood clot or fat globule that forms in a vein, attaching itself to the walls of the vessel. These blood clots are debilitating for your heath in themselves, because they block the normal flow of blood from your extremities back to your lungs and brain. But it’s when they begin to travel through the veins that embolism becomes a possibility. That is the term given to a thrombus that travels through the veins and causes a blockage somewhere else.
In the case of DVT, if one of these blood clots breaks loose from where it formed and travels to your brain, it can block blood flow there and cause a stroke. If the blood clot travels to your lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is the most likely destination of blood clots caused by deep vein thrombosis, and is dangerous because if the blood clot blocks one or more of your pulmonary arteries, the result is likely death. The link between deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is so established that doctors refer to the condition – which kills 60,000-100,000 Americans per year – by a single acronym: DVT/PE.
Why it is so critical to have a venous health/DVT screening
DVT often displays no overt symptoms, and as a result most of the people who have it don’t know that they have it. This is why the vascular doctors at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates feel that it is important to inform the public about their need to have a venous health screening to determine the exact state of their vein health. The screening takes only about an hour, and is both non-invasive and painless. Your Boynton Beach vein experts will use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment like Doppler ultrasound to look beneath the surface of your skin to determine whether blood is flowing properly through your veins, and whether blood clots have begun to form.
If they have, and you are beginning to show signs of DVT, the blockages can be removed using minimally invasive methods that require no incisions and no anesthesia. This can be done at our Boynton Beach vein clinic using endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), in which a tiny laser is used to clear the blockages, or via a technique called catheter-assisted thrombolysis, which utilizes a device called an Ekos to remove the blockages using a combination of drugs and ultrasound energy. And the best part is that this potentially life-saving procedure can be performed in the comfort of our SPCVA offices.
So yes, there is a strong link between vein disease and embolism. But there are also easy ways to protect yourself from either one. Give the Boynton Beach vein specialists at SPCVA a call at 561-515-0080, and we’ll set up an appointment for a screening. If you want to find out more about these treatments, see our website at: http://www.southpalmcardiovascular.com.