Deep Venous Thrombosis Afflicts Serena Williams, Richard Nixon and more….

What do Serena Williams, Richard Nixon, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney and David Bloom have in common? They have all suffered a potentially fatal deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. The clot can block blood flow and cause swelling and pain. When a clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream, this is called an embolism. An embolism can get stuck in the brain, lungs, heart, or other area, leading to severe damage.

Blood clots may form when something slows or changes the flow of blood in the veins. Risk factors include:

  • After a pacemaker catheter has been passed through the vein in the groin
  • Bedrest
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Fractures in the pelvis or legs
  • Giving birth within the last 6 months
  • Heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Recent surgery (especially hip, knee, or female pelvic surgery)
  • Too many blood cells being made by the bone marrow (polycythemia vera), causing the blood to be thicker and slower than normal

You’re also more likely to develop DVT if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Blood that is more likely to clot (hypercoagulability)
  • Cancer
  • Taking estrogens or birth control pills.
  • Long airplane flights: London’s Heathrow Airport reports one passenger death a month from DVT. One nearby hospital recorded thirty passenger deaths from DVT in the past three years including a 28-year-old man. To reduce the risk of DVT during air travel,  passengers are advised to wear compression stockings on flights, frequent moving aroudnt he cabinand pumping the calf muscles, leg elevation and avoidance of sedentary positions for long periods of time without moving.

Immigrants at Ellis Island Turned Away for Varicose Veins?

It’s hard to believe that immigrants entering the United States through EllisIsland, in the early 1900’s could be considered as unfit if they had varicose veins.  But, historical documents suggest that Doctors had only seconds to examine each passenger, checking for 60 symptoms, from anemia to varicose veins. Each person was then asked a set of 29 questions, sometimes over and over again, and by a series of different inspectors.  ‘If the immigrant’s papers were in order and they were in reasonably good health, the Ellis Island inspection process would last approximately three to five hours. The inspections took place in the Registry Room (or Great Hall), where doctors would briefly scan every immigrant for obvious physical ailments. Doctors at Ellis Island soon became very adept at conducting these “six second physicals.” By 1916, it was said that a doctor could identify numerous medical conditions (ranging from anemia to goiters to varicose veins) just by glancing at an immigrant.

source:  http://www.nps.gov/elis/historyculture/upload/Brief-History-of-Ellis-Island.pdf

La Jolla Vein Care Welcomes Dr. Helane Fronek, MD, FACP, FACPh

La Jolla Vein Care is pleased to welcome Dr. Helane Fronek to its staff of venous disease specialists.  Helane Fronek MD, FACP, FACPh entered the field of phlebology in 1985 and has been an integral part of the development of this new medical specialty.  As the Director of the Varicose Vein Clinic at Scripps Clinic, she provided cutting edge treatment for the entire spectrum of superficial venous disorders and conducted research on venous leg ulceration, compression therapy, and emerging therapies for varicose veins.  Dr. Fronek is a past president of the American College of Phlebology, the largest medical organization devoted to vein care.  She is a respected speaker and educator in all aspects of diagnosis and treatment for venous disease and communication in the medical arena.  Dr. Fronek was the first recipient of the American College of Phlebology’s prestigious Leadership Award.  Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Phlebology, she is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC-San Diego School of Medicine, where she teaches medical students the practice of physical examination and the art of medicine.  Dr. Fronek has dedicated her career to providing technically excellent and compassionate care to her patients and to inspiring and teaching the next generation of phlebologists.  Dr. Fronek is well known for authoring, ‘The Fundamentals of Phlebology’ which is a medical textbook used by most Phlebologists entering the field.