Clot Be Gone
February 4, 2008 11:38 AM Subscribe
I've been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) -- a blood clot -- and I have questions about current best practices for treatment...
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Doppler ultrasound has shown a clot that begins in my calf and continues behind my knee and half way up my thigh. I've mostly gotten over the freaking-out part, and am focused on optimizing my chance for complete recovery. I'm 41, and have lots of living still to do.
I'm currently undergoing "the usual" treatment... twice-daily injections of heparin and increasing doses of warfarin with the target of getting my blood's INR to the range of 2.0 to 2.5. I'm nearly there, and the heparin will end soon as I reach the INR, and warfarin will continue for a minimum of 6 months. Since the actual cause of the blood clot itself is an unknown, we're also doing various screening panels to see if there may be other disease factors that may have resulted in DVT.
I'm reading various medical reports of a relatively new treatment called "rapid lysis" which uses a spray of clot-dissolving stuff and a vacuum nozzle -- both delivered via catheter -- to quickly eliminate or reduce the clot, resulting in fairly immediate relief from pain, and more important, from risk of pulmonary embolism and long-term effects of PST (post-thrombotic syndrome) which can result in damaged valves in veins, scarring and the like. Is this more widely in use than my doctor seems to believe?
Finally, I find it curious -- and a bit maddening -- that on completion of the current course of treatment my doctor doesn't plan a follow-up scan (ultrasound or otherwise) to see that the clot has been suitably reduced, subsumed, etc. but instead intends to trust that the treatment has done as intended. Me, I'm a believer in "trust, but verify".
I'm asking all the same questions of my doctor (I'm a fairly assertive patient, I guess) and hope to augment my understanding with that of the hive mind.