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  #1  
Unread 01-19-2001, 10:49 PM
Blood clots

Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone has been hospitalized with blood clots? My cousin got very sick 12 days after her surgery and has now been in the hospital since Tuesday. X-rays didn't show any clots, but finally they did a cat-scan and found 2 clots--at the bottom and top of a lung. Up until that point, she was having a great recovery.

She had her hysterectomy due to dysplasia. I have supported her through all this and said she would do fine. I never thought for a minute that anything like this could happen. A well-known woman in our town died of a clot the day after she had a tummy tuck, so of course that has been on our minds.

I can't remember anyone ever writing about this complication, but would like to hear from someone that has been through this.

Thanks--Hugs to all of you,
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  #2  
Unread 01-20-2001, 01:21 PM
I haven't had blood clots due to surgery, but..

I'm sure you're terribly frightened. How are they treating her for them? What are the doctors saying about how common this problem is after a hyst? A tummy tuck is actually a much more invasive surgery than a hyst, but how frightening! Perhaps Trish can help...I'll send her the thread and see what she knows...my prayers are with you/her.
  #3  
Unread 01-20-2001, 03:01 PM
Blood clots

Thanks, Angie!

It is frightening, ruthann. Your cousin is lucky to have made it to the hospital and have it diagnosed. And she's very lucky to have you to support her.

My bet is that she is likely to be in the hospital for quite a few days getting intravenous clot-busting drugs. And then when she's home be on warfarin (coumadin) for six months or so. Warfarin is a tough drug to be on. You should email [email protected] She had to be on it with a clot in her leg. Catherine was lucky that it was caught before it traveled, but she knows first hand what the treatment is like. I'll also wave at her about this thread. (Can't you see all the hostesses hallooing at each other? ).

Do let us know how she's doing and what her treatment is. We want to send good thoughts. And if we can find out anything helpful, we'll sure try.

It's less a risk of the kind or extent of the surgery than how one behaves after surgery and other risk factors. I've been reading a lot about deep-vein thrombosis lately because a number of studies just got published about "economy class syndrome," which is essentially the same problem. Long hours of immobility on planes cause pooling of the blood in the lower legs and feet. 400 people a year get it from the long flights to Australia alone. So, it's not common but it's not really rare either. (One study claimed it didn't happen on planes but three others said it does.)

If someone has genetic clotting tendencies, smokes, drinks, is obese, or doesn't exercise much in general, the tendency to clot is higher. With surgery, it's also the immobility afterward. That's why they put those lovely constriction stockings on and that gizmo that squeezes and releases your legs. It's also why they get you up and walking so soon after surgery. Walking after surgery, if you can, is crucial, not just to release the dreaded gas, but sometimes it's not enough.

So, give her a hug for us and tell her we're thinking of her. The drugs do work, but it takes time.

[Edited by trish on 01-20-2001]
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  #4  
Unread 01-20-2001, 05:45 PM
Blood clots

Hi Ruthann, I'm sorry about your cousin and I hope she's doing better now. Three weeks after my hysterectomy I was admitted to the hospital for a blood clot. I was diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis. (I actually found out nearly a year later that the clot actually extended from my groin nearly to my ankle. I never knew a clot could be that big.) I stayed for eight days, all the time with a Heparin IV drip. Once they got me to what they called 'therapeutic' they put me on warfarin and I stayed on it for a year. I didn't have health insurance at the time, so I never had the lung scan to determine whether or not the clot went to my lung. The doctor suspects that it did, because when they did a blood test to measure the amount of oxygen in my blood, the level was low. Also, my pulse was much more rapid than it should have been.

Six months ago the doctor ordered several blood tests to try to determine the cause of my clot. It turns out I have an inherited blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden, which apparently I got from both parents. This
could explain why my dad died at 47 years old. I asked my Mom to be tested, and she has FVL. She is 79 years old and
her doctor started her on warfarin as soon as he got her test results.

I don't want to say warfarin is dangerous, but the patient must be closely monitored while taking it. I had to have a blood test every week while I was using it to determine the amount of time it would take my blood to clot. Right now my
hematologist doesn't want me to take warfarin unless I have another clotting episode.

One of the worst things about this is that I haven't been
able to take any kind of hormone therapy. After a year of frequent and intense hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings
and depression, my doctor finally decided to prescribe
Effexor. Effexor is an SSRI antidepressant, and has been known to reduce hot flashes by as much as 60%. I've been taking it since the end of November and in the last couple of weeks I've noticed a significant decrease in the number

of hot flashes I have. I'm not sad all the time anymore either, so the drug is doing it's job nicely for me.

If you have any questions, please email me. Best wishes to you and your cousin.





[Edited by Catherine on 01-20-2001]
  #5  
Unread 01-20-2001, 06:47 PM
Blood clots

Thanks Catherine and Trish so much for your quick and informative responses.

I just back from seeing my cousin (also a Catherine).She gets out of the hospital tomorrow. They messed up and gave her coumadin way too close together once, so it is taking a while to get her blood regulated. They tried another day to gave her coumadin at 5 pm and again at 6pm (scary) but Cathie questioned them. We live in a relatively small community, so some of the hospital services are sometimes questionable.

She doesn't fit any of the criteria for clots like drinking, smoking, obesity, or lack of exercise, so maybe it's a genetic tendency. It fact, if anything, she overdid the exercise after surgery. She is determined to get on the treadmill tomorrow, since she doesn't want another clot. We all tell her that's a bad idea, but she inherited our Polish family "mind of her own."

No evidence of clotting showed up in her legs. They think maybe Premarin played a part in this, so she now has a patch. Catherine, I'm wondering if she should be on any HRT. I now remember you being sick. I'm happy that you are now feeling better and that the Effexor is working for you. I am on Paxil, but I'm going to research Effexor and see if that is an option for me. My mother had a hysterectomy 35 years (she's now almost 81) and has never used HRT. I'm a little hesitant to use it because my Mom did have breast cancer 3 years ago. So if I could find alternatives, I would be happy.


Catherine, you wrote one months ago and said to e-mail you. But, I didn't know your address (I wasn't smart enough to think about mailing you at Hystersisters--duh!)
Now I know, though.

Thanks again. I'll going to print this out and get this to Cathie. Hugs to both of you--you are wonderful!
  #6  
Unread 01-20-2001, 07:43 PM
Blood clots

RuthAnn,
I was recently diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder. Luckily for me I havent experienced any clots in my deep veins but have several in the smaller veins. I was also told no HRT. I'm sorry your Cousin is experiencing this. I will keep her in prayers and hope things are better with her soon
  #7  
Unread 01-20-2001, 09:10 PM
Blood clots

Ruthann, I'm surprised the doctor let your sister have the patch. My doctor said no. If her problem is genetic, they can find out. Have her doctor test her for the Factor V Leiden gene mutation. Since I was diagnosed, my mother and 3 of my sisters also tested positive. One brother and one sister tested negative. It's important for her to be tested. Taking ANY form of estrogen could cause another clotting episode. Does she have a hematologist? Many doctors haven't even heard of Factor V Leiden. I'd certainly question using the patch.
  #8  
Unread 01-20-2001, 09:46 PM
Symptoms of blood clots?

What are the symptoms of this, please?
  #9  
Unread 01-21-2001, 05:03 AM
Blood clots

My symptoms were pain in the inner thigh which did not diminish when my leg was elevated, low-grade fever, faster-than-normal pulse, and severe pain when walking. Other symptoms may include chest pain, upper back pain, and/or difficulty breathing. Any of these symptoms should be reported immediately to your doctor. If your doctor is unavailable, head to your nearest emergency room. If you have pain in your leg, do NOT rub it. If it is a clot, this could cause part of it to dislodge and travel to your heart or lungs. I'll repeat here, my clot was caused by an inherited blood disorder that I didn't know I had. Clots can and do happen after any surgery, and although they are not a rare occurence, they are not common either. Please don't let this frighten you.
  #10  
Unread 01-21-2001, 08:02 AM
Blood clots

I'm also surprised your cousin is on estrogen at all. While Premarin does have more side effects, I think it's estrogen at all that increases the action of fibrinogen, which is a clotting agent. She should definitely check out the information at http://www.hormonejungle.com/supp.htm because estrogen blocks the absorption of those four nutrients and three of them have direct impact on cardiovascular health. Argh!


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