The Challenge: Severe Leg Pain and Swelling
Tomas Vokoun was a veteran National Hockey League goalie who amassed 300 wins and a highlight-reel of great saves. But he couldn’t stop the excruciating pain he felt in his leg when he skated off the ice after practice.
A series of tests revealed that Tomas had a massive blood clot embedded in his leg and pelvis — a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Left untreated, DVT can be fatal.
The Path to UPMC's Heart and Vascular Institute
Blood clots can be lifesaving or life threatening.
The process of forming a clot is called thrombosis.
Your body uses a complex system of blood clotting to ensure that you don’t lose a lot of blood from cuts and bruises. However, this process can be serious — or even deadly — when a clot forms deep inside a blood vessel.
Dr. Rabih Chaer — a nationally recognized vascular surgeon at UPMC — was out of town, but drove four hours in the middle of the night to perform emergency surgery on Tomas.
The Solution: Thrombolysis and Stenting
Tomas underwent a three-hour procedure to dissolve the clot lodged deep inside his leg.
After dissolving the clot, Dr. Chaer inserted a stent to hold the vein open and allow blood flow.
Tomas realized the benefits almost instantly. The swelling in his leg went down and the pain went away.
Today, Tomas suffers no side effects from the procedure. He gets back on the ice as often as possible teaching future netsminders the secrets to his success.
Tomas' treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.
Read more vascular condition patient stories
Learn More About Deep Vein Thrombosis
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