I developed pain in my right calf 3 days after returning from Hawaii that felt like a muscle strain. However it didn't get better and a few days later I noted some swelling in the lower right leg. Off to my doctor and doppler studies were done (ultrasound) and found DVTs in both legs. The left one was completely asymptomatic. Even more surprising is that a CT of the chest showed several pulmonary emboli (none blocking an artery) mainly in both lower lungs (where blood preferentially flows). I was also 100% asymptomatic from the PEs . . .
So into the hospital for heparin acutely and to start coumadin. Lovenox shots in the belly upon discharge (my wife enjoyed giving those, lol) and now my coumadin level is perfect 2.5. Back to work doing cataract surgery tomorrow. While unclear it appears I will be on coumadin 6-9 months and then can return to diving (coumadin and diving is controversial and advice depends on how conservative the dive doc is).
So here are the points:
1. Get up and move around. Do lower leg exercises. Trips over 4 hours increase the risk significantly. The irony of my trip is that I had First Class Seats for the first time (God'll teach me) and so I was able to sleep for 4 hours and my guess is that contributed. Sitting in window seats doubles your chances of getting a DVT, so tell the lard butt in the aisle seat sleeping that you have to get up or you might die on him.
2. Consider getting compression stockings, particularly if you have any venous stasis at all, are over 50, or are overweight (like me but down 20 lbs with 20 more to go).
3. Don't ignore any lower extremity pain after long trips (plane or car).
Edited by sdingeldein, 16 October 2011 - 04:26 PM.