SOURCE: Dr. Basudeb Saha MD

Dr. Basudeb Saha MD

July 28, 2014 09:00 ET

McHenry County Surgeon Basudeb Saha Discusses the Risk of Deep Venous Thromboembolism (DVT) Following Surgery and What Can Be Done to Prevent It

MCHENRY, IL--(Marketwired - Jul 28, 2014) - An estimated 500,000 Americans suffer from deep venous thromboembolism (DVT) each year. Over half of these patients develop DVT's while still in the hospital or in the 30 days following hospitalization. DVTs, or blood clots that form in the deep veins of the legs, can cause significant pain and swelling of the affected limb. DVT's also have the potential to embolize, or move, to the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE) and can be fatal.

Surgery increases the risk of DVT irrespective of any additional risk factors. "Patients are increasingly aware of the risk of DVT following surgery, and concerned about the possibility of developing a PE," says Dr. Basudeb Saha, a general surgeon in McHenry County. This is certainly not an unnecessary concern: depending on the type of surgical procedure, a patients risk of developing a DVT can be as high as 20% following surgery without any prophylactic treatment. "Patients often ask me if there is any way to tell if they are at increased risk of developing a DVT," says Dr. Saha. "There are actually many factors we take into account when we estimate a patient's individual risk and develop a treatment decision," says Dr. Saha. The first thing that must be taken into account is the type of surgical procedure. Patients undergoing certain orthopedic procedures (hip or knee replacement, hip fracture repair) are at the highest risk. Other risk factors include immobility, history of a blood clotting disorder, oral contraceptive use, increased age, pregnancy, and cancer. The more risk factors a patient has, the higher the chance of developing a DVT. However, DVT can happen for no apparent reason even in the lowest risk patients.

Physicians take DVT prevention very seriously. All hospitalized patients are encouraged to start moving as soon as possible following surgery. Sequential compression devices are used routinely to promote blood flow through the veins in the legs. Anticoagulant medications such as heparin or lovenox prevent the formation of new clots and prevent existing clots from getting larger. Routine anticoagulant use in the hospital has reduced the incidence of DVT's by 50% in the surgical patient. However, this treatment does not come without risk. Anticoagulant use can increase the chance of bleeding. "The concern for bleeding with anticoagulant use is a real one," states Dr. Saha."However, it is uncommon and the benefit of DVT prophylaxis with an anticoagulant usually outweighs this small risk."

Patients should educate themselves about the potential risks of surgery; one of which may include development of a DVT. Dr. Saha urges patients to discuss their individual risk with their surgeon as well as the treatment plan. Patients should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of a DVT and/or PE so should one develop following surgery, it can be recognized and treated promptly.

About Basudeb Saha, MD, FACS
Dr. Saha earned his medical degree at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He later completed his training in general surgery at the New Jersey College of Medicine where he also served as Chief Resident. He completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Dr. Saha is board-certified by the American Board of General Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery. He has received numerous excellence awards in his general practice and maintains active memberships in the American College of Surgery and several other prestigious organizations. He is available for interview upon request.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Contact Information:
    McHenry Office:
    4318 L Crystal Lake Rd
    McHenry, IL 60050
    815 344 0620