Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), development of blood clots usually in the deep veins of the lower extremities, is a serious consequence of untreated circulation problems. DVT is dangerous because the blood clot may go unnoticed while it is in the leg, but if it breaks free and travels to the lungs, it can become a deadly. This condition is known as “pulmonary embolism” or “PE”. Among many risk factors, prolonged immobility, such as sitting for longer than four hours or standing for over an hour, significantly increases the risk for DVT development.
How can Manhattan residents reduce their risk of DVT?
Prevention is the best treatment. A good first step, therefore, is an evaluation by a vascular specialist in Manhattan such as Dr. Lev Khitin of the New York Vein Treatment Center. People at risk of DVT include people with a personal or family history of vein disease and those who are overweight or too tall. Sitting in one place for long periods of time can increase one’s risk, so traveling becomes an important risk factor, especially for people who must travel often and for long distances. A professional vascular evaluation by a dedicated physician specialized in the area of circulation is quick, safe, non-invasive, reliable, covered by medical insurance and can be completed within thirty minutes at your local NYC varicose vein doctor’s office. In addition to a physical examination, venous duplex ultrasound is often being employed to allow visualization of blood flow in the veins of interest.
If existing, asymptomatic or “silent”, deep vein thrombosis is found, you may be prescribed blood thinners to help dissolve the clots or the clots can be treated and removed with minimally invasive procedures: through a needle. These procedures are also performed right in the vein treatment center in NYC, and they require no recovery time and no hospital visit.
If no DVT is found, your vein specialist will assess your risk factors for their development with you and help you devise strategies to reduce your risk while traveling.
What are some helpful strategies for reducing your DVT risk while traveling?
The main risk while traveling is sitting for too long in one place without moving. If you are driving, be sure to stop the car at least every two hours to stretch your legs and facilitate return of the venous blood back to the heart. On a train, you should walk between the cars every hour. On an airplane, it may be more difficult to move around, but there are usually periods in which the captain has turned off the seatbelt sign, allowing you to move about the cabin. Even if you don’t feel the need to get up at that particular moment, it is a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity when you have it. If turbulence hits or it’s time to land, you could be required to stay in your seat for a while.
When you’re not traveling, maintaining a regular exercise program such as a thirty-minute walk each day is an excellent way to ensure your veins are working well and your circulatory system is maintained in a good order.
For more information or ideas for helping reduce your risk of DVT while traveling, please give our center a call at (212) 575-8346 for an appointment. We’d be delighted to meet you and show you around our modern, NYC vein treatment center and to offer you a professional DVT risk evaluation.