While I am not an ardent follower of NASCAR, a recent development with a driver has caught my attention, and it should probably grab yours as well. So what, you might well ask, does NASCAR and plastic surgery have to do with one another? With regards to this issue, more than you might think. Allow me to explain.
Brian Vickers was recently sidelined for the rest of the season, because he developed a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and a PE (pulmonary embolism). A DVT is a blood clot that develops in large veins, usually of the legs, which can be quite dangerous. And, a PE is when this blood clot breaks loose and gets into the lungs, which can be deadly. This happened to him as a result of driving. While there may be some underlying conditions that could place him at greater risk for this, there did not seem to be anything out of the ordinary that caused this other than his driving. The problem is that when you are immobile, or your legs are immobilized for a period of time, blood clots can develop. Which means that this could happen to any of us if we are sitting for a long time on a plane or in a car. But they can also happen as a result of surgery.
In addition to this being something I am concerned about for all my patients, I have a particular interest in this as I am serving on the DVT/PE Prevention Task Force for the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). In the coming weeks I will be blogging about DVT’s, what they are, what causes them, how they can be prevented and treated, and what the ASPS is doing to increase the awareness of this. So, keep watching for these blogs as they are important to our collective health.