Angels pitcher Jason Vargas hit the DL 062113 to extend the Angels’ injury issues for this year. The reported blood clot near his armpit means a likely deep venous thrombosis to me.
Deep Venous Thrombosis (or DVT) is the unusual and potentially deadly problem of a blood clot developing in a large vein that is relatively close to the heart. These clots impair blood flow (which is likely related to how Jason discovered his) causing swelling and pain. The most concerning issue for DVT patients is the potential that the clot might travel (or embolize) to the heart basically stopping the process of oxygen delivery to the heart or brain. This possibility is not insignificant for a man who runs his arm like a catapult for a living.
The chips here are big folks. This clot needs to be given its marching papers and Vargas needs to be closely monitored to be certain it does not come back.
Right now Jason is likely on blood thinners and is having frequent ultrasound examinations to determine if the clot is shrinking. If it does not there are procedures to fish it out of there. They are small scale surgery really, but have risks as does all surgery.
We wish Jason luck as he deals with the latest curve ball that life as thrown to him.
John Di Saia MD