Avera Medical Minute ASL: Blood Clots & Pregnancy - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute ASL: Blood Clots & Pregnancy

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During pregnancy a woman's body goes through several changes, but sometimes it's more than the baby that's causing extra strain.

Less than a week after giving birth to her daughter Adelynn, Jasmine Smith started feeling discomfort in her legs.

"I slept in a recliner with her and that's what actually kind of saved me because I woke up the next morning and my leg and my hip was kind of sore." Said Smith.

Jasmine figured her swollen legs were a natural side effect of being pregnant. But her doctor thought it would be best to get them checked just to be certain. What they found were a few blood clots.

"They thought maybe we'll just do blood thinners for a week and see what happens but for some reason Dr. Lenter just wasn't okay with that so he decided to do blood thinners for two days and then take me in and see what was going on." Said Smith.

"It's not uncommon, blood clots and clots in the legs that go to the lungs are some of the most common causes of death and disability during pregnancy." Said Dr. Les Lenter, an interventional radiologist at Avera St. Luke's.

When the swelling didn't go away, Jasmine was taken to the catheterization lab to physically have the clots in her leg removed. But on the way down Dr. Lenter bumped into something big. 

"I said that kind of hurts! They asked what hurts and I said my hip hurts and they had actually run into the big clot that they didn't even know about while they were putting the umbrella in and they actually had to stop!" Said Smith.

What doctor's found was a blood clot in Jasmine's vein that went from her hip bone to her belly button. Because they only scanned her legs this clot went undetected.

Jasmine was diagnosed with a condition called May-Thurner Syndrome. What that mean is the artery in her leg (iliac artery) was putting pressure on the vein (iliac vein) where they cross over each other. So with her vein narrowed from the pressure, the blood slowly begin to back up and clot. Because Jasmine's clotting was so large, it took several procedures to finally clear the mess.

"The team stayed with me all weekend they came in and checked on me Dr. Lenter just seems to have a sixth sense for what's going on with people." Said Smith.

"Her leg was so badly swollen and she would've been left with a swollen leg for the rest of life and she's a healthy young person who wanted to run, take care of her kids, and teach and do the things she does so we were able to fix her leg and she's back to normal." Said Dr. Lenter.

Jasmine will have this condition for the rest of her life and she will have to pay close attention to her body,especially during her next pregnancy. But with the treatment options available, her life doesn't have to completely change.

"She's unlucky to have it, but she's lucky to be okay and she's okay now. It's not that rare, 10 years ago we didn't have all this therapy, the engineering is pretty incredible." Said Dr. Lenter.

So now Jasmine can focus her attention and energy where it matters most; on little Adelynn and being a mother.

Doctors believe Jasmine's condition was aggravated by her pregnancy as she was also on bed rest and other medications to help control pre-term labor. For more information about May-Thurner Syndrome just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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