Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Steven Stamkos has successful surgery on blood clot

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) skates off as the Bolts are shutout by the Montreal Canadiens with a final score of 3 to 0 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (03/31/16).

DIRK SHADD | Times

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) skates off as the Bolts are shutout by the Montreal Canadiens with a final score of 3 to 0 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (03/31/16).

NEW YORK — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had successful two-hour surgery Monday at Tampa General Hospital to remove a blood clot from his right collarbone area.

"So far, so good," his surgeon, Dr. Karl Illig, told the Tampa Bay Times by phone.

And the key to whether Stamkos' recovery period takes one month, three months or in between depends largely on ultrasound in two weeks, Illig said.

The procedure includes removing a top rib, which alleviates a "nutcracker" effect in the collarbone area, where a vein is squeezed. The condition is called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy suffered from in September. Illig also performed that surgery.

Illig said patients typically rest and recover for 2-4 weeks then rehab for 1-2 months. But Vasilevskiy was doing light skating (with no shots) in 10 days; Stamkos could be in the same situation.

"That two months was terrible for me," Vasilevskiy said in October after returning to practice. "A lot of the same routine every day, it's tough mentally, because guys go on the road to play games and you just watch on TV and sit at home."

Patients need to be on blood thinners for 1-3 months after surgery and can't take part in contact while taking the medication. But Stamkos' ultrasound could determine how long he needs to be on them. So Stamkos could potentially return to the Lightning in May or June, or not at all. The playoffs begin April 13.

"It'll be symptom status, how the patient is feeling, and ultrasound," Illig said. "One extreme is the patient feeling incredibly well and he has no problem whatsoever, and ultrasound is crystal clear. That would be something we'd lean on for a shorter time frame."

Illig said this syndrome is more common among baseball pitchers and tennis players, who use an arm-over-the-shoulder motion. Illig added that four players in Major League Baseball have had this surgery — including Rays pitcher Alex Cobb, in 2011. But Illig had never seen this type of clot in hockey players until this season, and it's stunning that both are with the Lightning.

"I think this was nothing that the Lightning are doing or the players are doing," Illig said. "This is a very, very, very odd and interesting coincidence."

Illig said the fact Vasilevskiy already had this condition, undergoing surgery in September before returning to an NHL game roughly two months later, helped the Lightning identify the issue and give Stamkos the best treatment.

"I want to say it's a problem for the Lightning because they're hoisting the Stanley Cup," Illig joked. "I want them to have that risk."

Steven Stamkos has successful surgery on blood clot 04/04/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers

    Outdoors

    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.