written by

Nishant Patel, MD, MBA

Nishant Patel is an interventional radiologist in Denver, CO

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December 17, 2019

A Physician’s Perspective: Dr. Patel

Dr. Nishant Patel provides his perspective on how he can help patients experiencing these two uncomfortable and often life-threatening conditions.

Let’s get real about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Patients arriving at RIA Endovascular with Deep Vein Thrombosis and or Pulmonary Embolism can look forward to a new outlook on life. Patients who have dealt with painful symptoms for many years come to us and notice a huge difference immediately after our procedure. Leg swelling, pain, heaviness and history of blood clots can lead to a blockage in one or more of the large veins of the legs that ultimately drain into the heart. Although the body can create channels of flow around this blockage, it is rarely enough to render a patient symptom-free. Some patients may have life-limiting symptoms and cannot perform simple everyday tasks, while others may only notice the symptoms when they are very active. This chronic leg discomfort or pain due to blockage of veins can go undetected for a very long time.

Thankfully, we have a wonderful, minimally-invasive way to treat this disease.

Think about it this way, when veins develop clots in them, sometimes they open back up when treated with blood thinners and sometimes the veins scar and close completely. Those veins that close are the ones that cause symptoms. The basic idea of treating blockages in veins is to place a wire and catheter into an open vein and use the wire to cross the area of blockage. Once this is crossed, we use a combination of balloons and stents to open the blockages.

Generally, stents are used for larger veins and balloons are used alone for smaller veins.

The idea is to create a channel of blood flow through the area where the normal vein would have been if it hadn’t developed a clot and scarred down. The procedure can take as little as an hour or if there are many blockages can take 4-6 hours. However, the recovery process is fairly quick. Patients can sometimes go home the same day or will stay in the hospital for one night if the procedure is more intensive. Afterwards patients will remain on blood thinners, but many patients feel better the next day. Swelling and skin changes of the legs can take more time to recover. Follow-up is important so that we can detect any new blockages before they become too severe. Don’t resign yourself to living with a “bad leg”.

We at RIA Endovascular know that sometimes it just takes one procedure to make you feel better for the rest of your life.