Terry Dubrow Speaks Out About Near-Death Blood Clot Scare and Signs You Should Look Out for

By Brett Malec Aug 10, 2023 5:15 PMTags
Watch: Drs. Terry Dubrow & Paul Nassif on Weight Loss Drug Ozempic

Terry Dubrow is stressing the dangers of blood clots following a recent near-death medical emergency.

The Botched star went from doctor to patient last week after he began temporarily slurring his words during a dinner with wife Heather Dubrow and their 19-year-old son Nicholas.

"My perception was this was no big deal," Terry exclusively told E! News, "give me a second."

After initially refusing to go to the hospital, The Real Housewives of Orange County star convinced her husband to get checked out—and it ended up saving his life. During testing, doctors discovered that a blood clot had passed through a hole in his heart (known as a patent foramen ovale or PFO) and traveled to his brain, causing a transient ischemic attack (or TIA), which causes stroke-like symptoms.

"Had I gone home, gone to sleep, continued to have little teeny blood clots come from my lower extremities from all the recent flying we'd been doing, I would have had many more clots," Terry noted. "If she wasn't insistent and persistent and I got on a plane or I went home that night—dead. Heather Dubrow saved my life, no question about it."

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Now, Terry is speaking out to spread awareness in the hopes others won't ignore warning signs.

"It's important to understand that if you're having a stroke, you have only five hours to dissolve that clot," the 64-year-old explained. "You need to be in an emergency room and have a clot-dissolver, otherwise your brain is gonna die and you're gonna die. The mortality rate of a real stroke is 60 percent."

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Terry isn't the first celebrity to experience a PFO or TIA health scare. Last year, Hailey Bieber suffered a transient stroke before undergoing a PFO procedure.

"The difference between me and Hailey Bieber is the right side of her face was paralyzed and she had numbness and tingling, so she had more physical symptoms," Terry noted. "It was so obvious. Justin Bieber—who's not a neuroscientist, let's be honest—knew she was having a stroke."

But aside from the obvious symptoms like speech-slurring or facial paralysis, the reality star doesn't want everyone to worry if they have PFO.

"We don't want to freak people out and tell them they all need to have an echocardiogram to see if they have PFO," Terry stated, "but they need to understand the number one cause of death in this country and in most industrialized countries is cardiovascular disease and the number one cause of death in that group is stroke."

As for what you can do to prevent a similar health scare? "If you have a heart murmur, figure out if you have PFO," he added. "If you're going to go on a long trip, wear compression socks. Get up on the plane every hour and walk around in the cabin. We are constantly being showered by little blood clots, but if you have PFO and a little blood clot gets to your brain, it is no joke."

Watch a brand-new episode of Botched tonight at 10 p.m.