Why Your Doctor Ordered Blood Clot Ultrasound Leg Images
Blood clotting is critical for keeping you healthy and safe. When you get cuts and scrapes on the outside of your body, your blood clots to protect the wound. This keeps bacteria out and ensures that you don’t continue to bleed. The same activity goes on inside your body, too. When the walls of your arteries and veins are damaged, blood clots form to repair the vessels.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. A variety of issues can cause clots to form where they don’t belong. The result may be restriction of blood flow or complete blockage of your blood vessels. If this occurs, the outcome can be deadly.
What Happens When Blood Clots Block Arteries?
Signs and symptoms of blood clots can vary, depending on where the clot is located and whether it is in an artery or a vein. One of the most serious situations occurs when clots form in an artery that serves the heart. Clots in a vessel that supplies oxygenated blood to the heart can lead to a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. Without a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood, the heart muscle starts to die. You may experience chest pain, pain in your upper body, nausea, fatigue, sweating, or trouble with breathing.
Clots in an artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the brain can lead to a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is often referred to as a mini-stroke. This takes place when brain cells are deprived of oxygen-rich blood, and they start to die. You may experience numbness or loss of function on one side of your body, drooping on one side of your face, or slurred speech.
What Happens When Blood Clots Block Veins?
When blood clots form in your veins, the symptoms may be a little different. However, they are no less dangerous. Sometimes, the clots develop in veins found deep inside your body. For example, clots can occur in the inferior vena cava, which is the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart. This condition is referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT may have no signs at all. If you do feel symptoms, you will typically notice pain, warmth, redness, and swelling in the affected area. When clots in your veins are left untreated, they can start to move. The worst-case scenario occurs when the clot travels to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). You will immediately notice chest pain and shortness of breath due to blocked blood flow.
All of these conditions can be life threatening, and they require emergency intervention.
What are the Risk Factors for Blood Clots?
There is a wide range of risk factors for developing blood clots. Some of them are related to lifestyle choices, while others are connected to genetic and physical conditions. Smoking can increase your risk of blood clots, particularly if you are being treated with hormone therapy. This includes birth control pills. However, when it comes to hormone therapy and birth control pills, the benefits often outweigh the risks. Pregnancy is also linked to the formation of blood clots, and there are inherited blood clotting disorders that make blood clots more likely.
Prolonged immobility is a common risk factor for DVT. This can occur during long periods of travel by car or plane, or it may happen when you are recovering from surgery. Injuries to your limbs may also cause blood clots to form. Having your arm or leg in a cast can increase your risk, as well, because your limbs are not bending and flexing as they normally do.
Vein diseases such as Venous Statis and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) are a frequent and underdiagnosed factor in the formation of blood clots. These conditions occur when the one-way valves inside your veins are damaged. The valves are critical for keeping your blood flowing in the right direction – towards your heart and lung. When they aren’t working, blood starts to leak through and flow backwards.
As the blood leaks back through the valves, it pools in the lower half of your body. This increases blood pressure inside your veins, damaging the vessel walls. Often, this leads to varicose veins and spider veins. Other symptoms of CVI include leg cramps, heaviness or numbness in your legs, and skin discoloration. If you have any signs of CVI, you may be at higher risk for blood clots. Your vein doctor in New York or vein doctor in New Jersey can ensure you are accurately diagnosed and treated.
How are Blood Clots Diagnosed?
If your vein doctor suspects clots, a blood test and blood clot ultrasound leg images are the next step. Blood clot ultrasound leg images allow ultrasonographers to capture a view of any clots in your blood vessels. These tests are virtually painless, and they can be done quickly and easily. Your specialist will review the images to determine the type of risks your clots pose, as well as the best way to treat them.
Treatment for DVT is usually quite simple if it is properly diagnosed and caught early. Blood thinners can typically resolve blood clots rapidly. However, if clots in your arteries or veins reach your heart, brain, or lungs, you may face permanent disability and even death. It is absolutely critical to see your physician right away if you suspect blood clots.
Can Blood Clots Be Prevented?
Once the specific issues visible on your blood clot ultrasound leg images are corrected, it is important to address underlying medical conditions that caused the blood clots to develop. For example, your vein doctor in NY or vein doctor in NJ can treat your vein disease with advanced, minimally-invasive procedures that take just 15 – 30 minutes.
Your vein treatment clinic may offer any or all of the following treatments for CVI:
- Radiofrequency Ablаtіоn (RFA)
- Endоvеnоuѕ Lаѕеr Ablаtіоn (EVLA)
These treatments close diseased veins using heat, injectable medication, or lasers, so that blood can be rerouted through healthier vessels. Procedures are performed in the vein treatment clinic, and you can generally return to your normal activities on the same day.
It is also wise to reduce any other risk factors that you can control. For example, cut down on smoking or stop altogether. Ensure that you break up periods of immobility with a bit of physical activity whenever possible.
Blood clots are very common, but they can be treated quickly when they are properly diagnosed. Simple blood clot ultrasound leg images pinpoint the problem, so your physician can dissolve or remove any blockages. Visit the Vein Treatment Clinic to learn more about preventing and treating vein disease that can lead to blood clots. Your can schedule your initial consultation online or by phone at 855-248-4609.