Blood clots are platelets, proteins, and blood cells that stick together and build a blood mass. Your body makes a blood clot to control the bleeding when you get hurt. After the bleeding stops and healing occur, your body usually breaks down and removes the blood clot.
Unfortunately, sometimes, blood clots form where they should not, your body makes abnormal or too many blood clots, or the blood clots do not break down as they should. These blood clots can be dangerous and can cause other health problems.
Blood clots can form or travel to blood vessels in the limbs, lungs, brain, heart, and kidneys. Depending on where blood clots locate, they will cause different types of problems:
We can find two different types of clots, arterial and venous:
A blood clot may be life-threatening, depending on its severity and location.
Venous insufficiency is a medical-related condition in which the veins in the body (most often in the legs) cannot drive blood back to the heart. This event causes blood to pool in the blood vessels and become enlarged (varicose veins) or dilate over time.
Typically, blood circulates via arteries from the heart to the legs and back to the heart via veins. The veins rely on the surrounding muscles and a network of one-way valves to push blood up from the feet and prevent blood from flowing backward.
If the muscles and one-way valves weaken or fail, the vein becomes incompetent, and blood accumulates instead of flowing back to the heart.
Venous insufficiency causes symptoms such as:
Varicose veins are surface blood vessels that get bigger and convoluted. Any vein in the body may turn varicose, but the condition often happens in the legs’ veins. Varicose veins differ from spider veins which are very small bluish veins close to the skin and appear on the legs or face. Spider veins usually do not produce pain and are more of a cosmetic concern.
The evaluation of your condition differs depending on the place and type of your blood clot. Your physician will usually begin by obtaining your medical history, as it can provide information about the factors that caused the lump, and perform a physical examination.
In an emergency where the individual cannot describe the symptoms, physicians may send the patient for testing immediately after a physical exam.
The physician may send you to one or more of the following tests:
If the ultrasound results are inconclusive, they may use venography or magnetic resonance angiography.
Your physician may recommend that you undergo catheter-directed thrombolysis, a procedure that delivers “clot-busting” medications to the clot spot, or surgery to remove the clot.
These treatments intend to control clots aggressively, as arterial clots can block blood flow to vital organs. Therefore, they are generally only used in emergency or life-threatening situations.
If doctors diagnose you with a deep vein clot, they prescribe you an anticoagulant medication to help thin the blood and allow it to pass through the clot spot easier.
Your physician may ask you to undergo an inferior vena cava filter replacement procedure. Doctors recommend this procedure for patients at high risk for blood clots. They place a filter in your vein to help prevent blood clot fragments from traveling through your veins to your heart or lungs.
Awareness of the symptoms of blood clots in the legs is vital. This way, you can get medical attention and make a diagnosis. If you suspect you could have a blood clot, seek medical attention immediately.
If you are looking for vein removal options, vein surgery, or if you are worried about deep vein thrombosis, vein experts know how to tailor a personalized treatment plan to tackle your leg discomfort and help you feel and look your best.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.
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After the affected veins have responded to the treatment, they usually do not return or reappear, but new varicose or spider veins may develop.
Your physician will likely schedule a follow-up visit about a month after the treatment to determine how well it worked and if you need more sessions. After that, you should wait about six weeks before having another sclerotherapy treatment.
Before making a decision, you should discuss the benefits and risks of sclerotherapy with your physician and possible coverage with an insurer.
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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.
Every heart has a story… What’s yours?
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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
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This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.
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