Blood clots affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year and cause 100,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your cardiovascular specialist, Dr. Madaiah Revana of Northeast Houston Vein Center in Houston and Humble, TX offers treatments that remove clots and help you protect your health.
How blood clots form
The scab that forms on your skin after your cut yourself is actually a blood clot. When you injure yourself, your body reacts by clumping blood cells called platelets together to stop the bleeding. The platelets produce chemicals that enhance the clotting process and trigger the production of fibrin, a protein that forms a sort of net that traps the blood and helps hold the clot together.
Although these blood clots are helpful, clots that form inside your body can be dangerous to your health.
These clots may form due to:
- Damage or inflammation inside an artery or vein
- Plaque, a fatty substance that can collect in your arteries
- Slow blood flow
Clots that form in the major veins in your body are the most serious. These clots can cause a serious condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If the clots break free and travel to other parts of the body, they can cause heart attacks, strokes, and other serious health conditions.
Risk factors for blood clots
You may be more likely to develop blood clots if you're immobile for long periods of time. Your risk rises if you don't get up and walk periodically during a long flight or are confined to bed.
Other risk factors may include:
- Taking birth control pills
- Inherited blood-clotting disorders
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Certain heart conditions
- Surgery or an injury
Blood clot treatment
If you are diagnosed with a blood clot, your cardiovascular specialist will create a treatment plan for you during your visit to his Houston or Humble office. Clot-dissolving medication is often very effective in eliminating clots. If medication isn't a good option, surgery may be needed to remove the clot.
Are you worried that you may have blood clots? Schedule an appointment with your cardiovascular specialist in Houston and Humble, TX, by calling (281) 446-4638, or make an appointment for a free vein screening by calling (832) 318-2357.