For many, this time of year means spring travel is on the agenda. Those with varicose veins — both men and women — should know that they are at a slightly higher risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) during a long flight or ride.
Even if you don’t have varicose veins, do you know the risks of DVT during travel? Here are tips for anyone flying or traveling for long periods of time (4 or more hours):
- Wear compression stockings.
- Get up and move about whenever possible.
- Periodically pump your legs up and down while seated.
- Drink lots of fluids and wear loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict blood flow.
- Try not to cross your legs for extended periods of time.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages during travel.
- Taking an aspirin before traveling may be helpful.
Take the next step:
- If you plan to travel and have concerns about your risks of getting a blood clot, be sure to talk with your doctor or a healthcare professional.
Dr. Thomas Wakefield has been the head of the Vascular Surgery service at the University of Michigan since 2004. He is an honors graduate of the University of Toledo and received his MD from the Medical College of Ohio in 1978. He completed his general surgery residency at U-M in 1984, completed a vascular surgery fellowship at U-M in 1986, and is presently the S. Martin Lindenauer Professor of Surgery in the Section of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, U-M. His clinical interests include a special emphasis on venous disease and coagulation issues.
The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.