I am female, 58 yrs. Shortly after showering this evening I began itching an area in my groin absentmindedly. Then I noticed it was becoming sensitive. I looked to see what it was and I believe it is the femoral vein (in groin area where leg bends an just inside where my hip bone is) . It was swollen and red (not warm though) and size is somewhere between the size of a nickle or quarter coin. I have no other symptoms. Because I am 5 yr post op from aortic mechanical valve replacement (congenital bi cuspid instead of tri) and double by pass with aortic root aneurysm repair; I was a bit concerned. I am on coumadin, 2-3 mg nightly with target INR at 3-3.5. I self test at home and dose accordingly. Should I be worried or concerned? What should I look for? And, what in the world would have caused this?
1. You may mean your femoral artery not vein. The artery lies just under the skin in your groin. If you've had valve surgery, you've probably had a catheterization to look at your heart and this is the entry point of the catheter. I am assming you would have mentioned a recent catheterization...even if it was several months agoas this could factor in.
2. You also have lymph nodes there. You lymph nodes carry and produce fluid that is needed to fight infection. In some cases, if you have an infection or even an irritation andywhere in that area, and even in your bladder, you might have a swollen node there. A node feels like a marble and is sometimes tender. Nodes are swollen when you are fighting off an infection and some folks just have chronically swollen nodes.
3. You INR is not way off (in Europe, the ideal INR for valves is 4.0) but as you know, even when your INR is perfect, that means you are prone to bleeding, so if you had an injury in that area recently (been doing any mechanical bull riding lately?) that could cause a bruise with some bleeding under the skin (but in the area you describe, it's unlikely)
4. Did you get bitten by something? If you live in the cold area of the country and have been hit by this crazy warm weather, it is bringing the bugs out early. It's possible that something (a spider, mosquito etc) could have biten you while you were sleeping (no...it's not bedbugs!) The fact that it itches may be a strong clue.
Bottom line, you sound as if an answer would help you to feel more at ease. This sounds like it is an area for your internest or general doctor since it could be many things. Try some (over the counter) cortisone cream to see if that helps before you head in to the doctor so you can report to him/her if that helped as that info will be useful.
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