Why We Prescribe a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) Scan After Joint Replacements
Clots and scabs form on our skin when we get wounded. In a similar fashion, clots form in the deep recesses of our blood vessels when subjected to vascular injury. Clotting is our body’s protective mechanism and an effort to maintain hemostasis.
However, a deep vein thrombosis is a case of something in the wrong place at the wrong time. A DVT is a dangerous but preventable condition. Learn the risks of deep vein thrombosis and how it relates to joint surgery below.
What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis is an obstructive disease resulting from blood clot formations in a deep vein. You form these clots in large blood vessels like those in the thigh, pelvis, or lower leg.
Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cause of death from cardiovascular diseases.
Where Do Thrombi Come From?
Many events may precipitate thrombus formation, and surgery is one of them. Essentially, thrombi result from vascular injury. Platelets bind to collagen at the injury site, leading to platelet activation and a cascade of reactions, resulting in a clot or thrombus.
Vascular injury is a broad term; thus, thrombi formation arises from many sources. Surgery, broken bones, trauma, and lack of movement all promote thrombus formation. Joint replacement surgeries such as knee or hip replacement increase the risk of DVT.
Why Is It Dangerous?
A clot traveling in the bloodstream may seem innocuous. However, recall the pathways of blood, and you’ll see how dangerous it is for any of those pathways to get blocked.
There are times when pieces of the clot break away. These fragments hitch a ride on the bloodstream and find their way into the pulmonary circulation.
The pulmonary artery branches out into smaller blood vessels supplying the lungs. Eventually, the clot fragments reach blood vessel branches too small to pass through and end up occluding the blood vessel.
When the blood vessels sending blood to your lungs can’t do their job, your lung tissues lose their fuel to function. This event is a pulmonary embolism and is potentially fatal.
What Is a DVT Scan?
Now that you know how a DVT may lead to devastating consequences, it’s time for some good news. Imaging tools such as ultrasonography can detect blood clots and vein blockages.
D-Duplex ultrasonography is the standard imaging modality to diagnose DVT. It utilizes sound waves to observe the flow or occlusion of blood in the veins. By getting a scan, you have the power to stop the devastating sequelae of DVT in its tracks.
Preventative Care Is a Premium Form of Care
Deep vein thrombosis is preventable, detectable, and curable. Surgery is lifesaving but is often accompanied by risks. Don’t wait until it’s too late; get a DVT scan as part and parcel of your orthopedic surgery,
Thank you for reading our article on the importance of DVT scans! Know the risks so you can empower yourself to make informed choices for your health. Contact us today for healthcare that prioritizes you; if you have any doubts, look at reviews from patients themselves.