Warfarin or Pradaxa? Making the choice.

Dr. Geoffrey Barnes weighs the pros and cons of atrial fibrillation meds

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Atrial fibrillation (also know as Afib) is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clotsstroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 2.7 million Americans are living with Afib.

Atrial fibrillation has long been treated with the blood thinner Coumadin, also known as warfarin, which was approved by the FDA in 1954. However, new blood thinners, or anticoagulants, to treat Afib have come on the market in the last six years, including one known as Pradaxa. Continue reading

From a vein disease doctor: 3 tips for healthy legs

Leg vein treatment can be cosmetic or health-related

healthy legs

A venous health specialist, or vein disease doctor, can help with your vein problems, whether they are cosmetic or health related.

If you spend much of your day sitting or standing, you may have vein issues. These can include cosmetic concerns about spider veins, leg pain from varicose veins or aching and swelling in the legs caused by venous insufficiency. If your legs are in need of attention — either for cosmetic purposes or health-related issues — you may benefit from a venous evaluation.

As a specialist in venous disease (or vein disease doctor) I see a range of patients at the University of Michigan Livonia Vein Center. Some are concerned about the look of their legs due to spider veins and others come to us with blood clots. No matter what your concern, we can help. Even if your leg issue can’t be resolved at the Vein Center, we are part of the Venous Health Program at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, with access to specialists in vascular surgery, interventional radiology and vascular medicine. This means we can get you where you need to be for the best possible care. Continue reading

Is DVT risk greater in women?

March is DVT Awareness Month

belly of pregnant woman

Pregnancy is one of the risk factors for developing DVT

A woman’s risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) varies with hormonal exposure, making pregnancy, use of hormone replacement therapy or birth control products important risk factors. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, DVT and PE are the most common causes of maternal-related deaths.

Preventing blood clots during pregnancy

What can you do to prevent clots during pregnancy? The American Society of Hematology recommends the following:

  • Be aware of risk factors.
  • Know your family history.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about any history of blood clots or blood clotting disorders in your family.
  • Remain active, with your doctor’s approval.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a blood clot. Visit your doctor immediately if you think you have one.