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How much do you know about blood clots?

Did you know that each year nearly 900,000 Americans are affected by blood clots?

The good news is that most blood clots are not life-threatening and are easily treatable. Unfortunately though, some serious forms of blood clots, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT), can prove fatal if not detected and treated in a timely manner.

Our VeinSolutions team of vein specialists is sharing some important information you should know about blood clots in honor of Blood Clot Awareness Month.

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot is the solid formation of blood that develops following a cut on the surface of the skin. It plays an essential role to stop the bleeding and encourage healing, eventually hardening and forming a scab to seal off the injury.

A blood clot can also form inside the body within the veins. This is when serious complications arise as an internal clot can prevent blood from reaching important areas like the heart, lungs or brain.

What are blood clot symptoms?

Blood clots can often be hard to detect, but they most often occur in the arms or legs. Some common symptoms include:

  • Intense throbbing or cramping at a particular spot
  • Swelling, redness or warmth in the arm or leg
  • Becoming out-of-breath suddenly or without reason

If you experience any of these symptoms unexpectedly, it is important to seek medical help right away to ensure that you are not suffering from DVT, the most serious type of blood clot.

What is DVT?

DVT is a large blood clot that most frequently develops in legs, and it can be dangerous if it moves upwards through the body toward the heart and lungs. Our board-certified vascular surgeons are skilled at treating venous disorders like DVT.

How are blood clots and DVT treated?

Blood thinners are an effective first option that we use for treating clots and DVT. They are anticoagulant medications that help a blood clot to dissolve and disperse through the bloodstream.

Surgery may be needed to remove clots that are not sufficiently treated with blood thinners in order to prevent them from traveling to the heart or lungs.

Blood Clot Prevention Tips

You may be at risk for blood clots if you have a family history of clots or other venous disorders, suffered a traumatic injury or issues that affect healthy circulation like high cholesterol.

Here’s how to help prevent them:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure
  • Quit smoking or vaping
  • Exercise often, at least 150 minutes per week for the average adult
  • Get up and move around frequently (about every two hours) to keep blood flowing when traveling, such as when sitting on a plane or in a car for long periods of time
  • Speak with your physician about the likelihood of blood clots developing if undergoing a serious surgical procedure

To schedule an appointment with a vein specialist in Austin, please contact us here or call 512.452.VEIN (8346), or 512.501.4287 for our clinic in Georgetown.

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