Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatments

Dr. Chris Magovern on preventing and treating DVT.
6:24 | 12/19/11

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Transcript for Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatments
Traveling during the holidays can mean hours on a plane or in a car but sitting for those extended periods of time could put -- at risk for something called deep vein thrombosis. And here to talk about DDT is doctor Chris McGovern -- BC news medical contributor and cardiac surgeon. At Morristown medical center doctor -- thanks for being with us today great to -- -- -- -- what is DDT. Well simply put it's a clot which we call from the -- occurs -- one of the big gains in your lag. The Angel of the from arteries -- understand when your heart pumps blood out of your body through arteries the blood travels fast it's unlikely plot. When that blood hits the organ it's going to it turns around comes back very very slow things. And the blood flow in the veins as lots more and that's the reason one of the reasons of blog comply if you think you -- -- for an example of being. The veins that carry blood back your part in your -- have to fight gravity also so we rely on the muscles in our legs. To squeeze the means to get the blood back almost a pump the pump but what exactly right arguing have a -- down -- -- to pump the blood back -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- what are some -- -- symptoms -- -- -- William May have -- given the guillotine your legs you may have a tender leg it need be greeted -- be blew it may be warm but the two things you notices that. Number one it's -- it's always -- And it's almost always on one side it's never on both side -- so was swollen leg on one side you have to think the -- any one -- particularly at risk older folks kids men and women yet it's a great question. It affects about 1000 apparent which means three to 5000 people this country any given year but -- -- couple subset of people would do get them. The first substance someone who is has a tendency to form blood clots okay 5% of the population are born with inherited conditions that cause that. But beyond that if you smoke. If you are over the age of sixty if you had an operation if you have -- if you varicose veins if -- had trauma. If you're pregnant where you -- pregnant. If you're overweight and finally if you take any kind of estrogen supplements that can increase the likelihood of you forming a clot in the other category again. Or patients that are sedentary and he talked about needing that the lakes to move and pump the blood flow so. Long car ride long plane ride. And what we really -- about a patient's hospital patients -- -- -- now -- -- move around those -- -- we -- anyway today missed an effort hospitalized patients but for those people that are going to be stuck in the car on the -- for a long time what can we do that revenue is prevention is -- -- couple things one thing you can do is find -- if you're at risk mom dad brother sisters did anyone have a problem like this in the past and that's the case it worked up as a blood test to see if you're at risk. Another thing you can do is change the things that you can't change -- your overweight drop some weight he -- don't smoke. When you travel appear in the car depend of the car every two arms you know walk around when -- reply in their few things you can do. We used to call this the economy class -- meaning that. If you're a guy like me that travels back in the back of the plane and economy your your squished up front -- -- -- -- edit but if you travel the front of the plane. Where you can move around some where -- are less likely to get. I caught it hasn't been proven so that really -- work what you need to do is you get up and you walk around offender every two hours and if you can't do that. While you're sitting in your seat move your legs around every half hour don't cross your legs like this for extended periods of time. And when you're sitting trying to -- the vacuum -- five's. Hit hit the seat. But a briefcase -- something on your feet so props them up little but so is making your muscles work a little -- exactly how -- -- pressure off the names the last thing you could do was hydrate. Drink drink -- Because -- the more -- the more you hydrate yourself the fashion the blood will flow through these names and paradoxically also make you have to get up into the bathroom and it forces you get locked at two and two pulled -- correct I want to quickly get -- the prevention at for hospital pain because that's a serious concern as well sure. We've got different techniques that we use in the hospital we have an arsenal actually of things that we can use and what we use -- or cardiac patients. For a few that we have greater the first thing we do is get people -- -- -- out of carefully had a heart surgery yesterday you're gonna get up of an at a bed and in walked the next day that's critically important. We have compression stock -- or not Gordon variety compression stockings these are stockings. That have more pressure down at the level the ankle less pressure on top that the -- can still encouraging the bullet in the back exactly squeezed out these are compression stockings that are. Filled with beer -- -- -- machine that pumps -- into the into. These some -- that entitling. You the exact same thing. The last thing we -- Dan is a blood thinner called heparin something that we injected -- patients. That thins the blood that prevents the -- -- okay are now if o'clock has formed what can you do for treatment. There to particular things that we worry about is -- is how we treat patients in and in order to understand that you have to understand what one of the things we really worry about these clots is not so much what they do -- leg and a -- becomes swollen your risk for infection office. What occasionally these clots in the legs can loosen up. And they can travel in one unit up to the level heart. That's called a pulmonary Campbell sometimes -- one inch long sometimes they're ten inches -- while and once they get up to the heart they can for. All intents and purposes clog the machinery in your heart -- and they can be fatal. Dislike David Bloom the NBC correspondent -- years ago so we don't want that happened so our -- be around -- BT's is twofold number one we want to let. Do something to get the -- Byrd blasting the plot go way the other thing that we wanted to use to prevent this clot traveling up to -- So the first thing we do is we give the patient what there's not just the -- -- that we. We give in the hospital but they've long term -- -- going to be on this is a pill called Coleman and you take every day for at least three months and that's the first line of therapy. The next line of therapy is actually to try to -- the -- open with what we call clot busters and analytic engines. A vascular surgeon can introduce a -- that are much like this one. Right into the main with a clauses. And deliver this solution costs the -- open and then he has other catheters that he -- back from the climb out from. The last thing we have in isn't a genius invites this called an IBC filter. These don't true really treat the clot but they're placed in a main vein in the chest and abdomen above the -- But -- your heart so that -- -- that might break loose gets caught. -- doesn't hear our fast it's it's amazing and I am very very serious threat especially everyone's going to be traveling spending a lot of time in the car -- the plan things but that's a great information doctor Chris McGovern being with us today me to -- thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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