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DVT + Diving

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by vavstar, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. vavstar

    vavstar Guest

    Two years ago I was hospitalized with a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) that was caused by the pill. I apparently had a severe DVT (from my ankle to my pelvis) but have been fine since then. The doctors said my recovery is great and that I'm in the clear for preventing any more since I'm off the medication that caused it and take a baby aspirin everyday as a precautionary step. Apparently there is a little blocking in my vein that is normal for people with a DVT. I'm just curious if it's safe for people who have survived a DVT to dive again because of the residual clot/scaring that is in the vein? Is there anything I should do to prevent anything from happening if I do dive? Thanks!
  2. Saturation

    Saturation Medical Moderator

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    Hi V:

    Yes, there are no issues with healed DVTs that are incompatible with recreational diving.

    When clots are formed 2 things occur: either the entire clot is reabsorbed or the clot is organized and forms part of the vein's wall. It may take up to a year for the lumen to appear normal, if at all. In most cases, the vein is like new once fully healed.
  3. kelpdiver

    kelpdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Valley, CA
    I would add that extensive DVT can lead to damage of the venous valves, and the "post phlebitic syndrome" which I see regularly, if not frequently. The valves prevent the entire weight of the "water column," in this case the blood in the vein itself, from causing high pressure at the bottom of the column. If the valves have been destroyed by the clost and subsequent healing, one can develop recurrent/persistent swelling in the legs with discomfort, often making the patient worry they have recurrent DVT.
    The good news? If that's the case, you try to minimize the venous hypertension with elevation and external pressure. Both of those are hard to do--people have to live their lives and they hate wearing the heavy and hot pressure stockings. Immersion would provide excellent counteraction to the venous hypertension, so one should dive as often as possible, say three times a day?;) Oh, and keep taking that Aspirin (and call me in the morning.....)
    As usual, this is not meant as specific medical advice, but a general discussion of the issue.
  4. vavstar

    vavstar Guest

    From the scans that I've had post-DVT they said that I have some valve problems but in general, I'm doing fine. The residual swelling is rather minor and I am really the only one that notices. There also is no pain associated with it at all--except when I sit for prolong periods of time. I try to avoid that as much as possible and continue to say hydrated and take my aspirin!

    Anyway, this is all great news! Thanks so much for your replies! I was worried that I may not be able to dive! My Dr's don't really know what to tell me and always take the cautious route telling me better NOT to dive--but I really want to. Thanks again!

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