What is the treatment for deep vein thrombosis?
Q: I am a lady aged 38 years and I am suffering from deep vein thrombosis of the left leg. I am on anticoagulants since the last 5 months. I also suffer from cervical spondylosis for which surgery has been recommended. The doctors state that the DVT might have occurred due to the 6 weeks of complete bed rest that I was advised for my spondylosis. I would like to know how safe would it be to go in for surgery in such a scenario? Will I have to take anticoagulants throughout my life? Is there any option of doing micro-surgery to remove the vein blockage? Is there any chance of the DVT recurring once I stop the anticoagulant? Looking forward to hearing from you.
A:You are already aware that deep venous thrombosis is a clotting of blood within the inner veins of the leg. This is usually accompanied by a swelling of the leg. If the swelling has subsided, you do not need to continue anticoagulants. However, do not stop them suddenly, taper them off. Preferably, consult the physician who started these anticoagulants. DVT can recur after stopping anticoagulants, but it usually does not. Some people take lifelong anticoagulants; in your case this does not seem desirable. Once the anticoagulants are stopped, it is safe to undergo surgery for cervical spondylosis. At operation your surgeon will take precautions against recurrence of DVT. There IS a risk of recurrence, but very low. In these circumstances, microsurgery for DVT is not indicated. One complication of DVT is varicose veins in the leg. You probably cannot prevent this complication. If it occurs, check out the appropriate therapy.